Citing “sources who are familiar with the deals”, mocoNews is reporting that the frightening pace of Android adoption is driven in part by revenue-share deals with the carriers and handset manufacturers who embrace the platform.
Google has never been secretive about its strategy for Android – give away the operating system and make money from the advertising it places in search results, email and maps – but they’ve never said anything about revenue sharing.
Having said that, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if they are.
Google has always shared revenue in order to be the default search provider for web browsers (Google’s deal with Firefox represented 85% of Mozilla’s revenue in 2006) and has always competed for exclusivity on large sites by offering juicier revenue shares, and even guaranteed revenue floors like the $900 million deal with Fox Interactive.
…and it’s not a bad thing! I’m happy that Google is using its advertising clout to kick-start Android. It’s a win for Google, a win for the carriers (who can subsidize their multi-billion dollar investments in wireless infrastructure) and a win for consumers – Android is a fantastic operating system, and I loathe to think what Apple would be up to without a serious competitor to the iPhone.