Google has reportedly made $31 billion from Android

by: Derek ScottJanuary 21, 2016
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Have you ever stopped to think just how much money something as large as Android generates for Google? It is the world’s most popular mobile operating system after all, so one could expect the sum to be pretty high. According to one of Oracle’s lawyers, Google’s Android OS has generated a total revenue of $31 billion and $22 billion in profit over the years. Oracle and Google have been up in arms for the past few years, ever since Oracle accused Google of using its Java software in Android without paying for it. These financials, which should never have been made public, were disclosed by the lawyer on January 14th. Google said in a court filing that the lawyer based her numbers on info taken from confidential internal financial documents.

On January 20th, following the original claims, Google urged a San Francisco federal judge to redact portions of the public transcript, claiming that the Oracle lawyer leaked out “extremely sensitive information” that was supposedly marked “Attorney’s Eyes Only.” Google said in the filing:

Google does not publicly allocate revenues or profits to Android separate and apart from Google’s general business. That non-public financial data is highly sensitive, and public disclosure could have significant negative effects on Google’s business.

It’s important to note that this $31 billion sum isn’t yet confirmed, and likely won’t be. The numbers are taken from financial data that’s been derived from internal documents, not taken verbatim. It’s also worth noting that this $31 billion in lifetime revenue isn’t actually that much money when compared to what Google normally generates in revenue each year.

In the end, though, we really haven’t gotten a glimpse into just how valuable Android is to Google, so this is pretty interesting stuff. Do you have any thoughts on these leaked numbers? Let us know what you think in the comments.

  • Kiss my Asthma

    I’m impressed… Google has taken a page from Microsoft’s book in the PC industry and did what Microsoft themselves couldn’t do in the smartphone space. I j just don’t understand why is this considered “highly sensitive” information though?

    • AbbyZFresh

      There’s a reason Android is called the Windows in the mobile world, it literally is. In both good AND bad traits of its impact.

      It’s supposed to show how much Oracle and other involved companies are missing out on all that profit margin of the 31 billion that’s going straight to Google. Google knows this fact too. That’s why its considered highly sensitive.

      This will make the judge consider going in Oracle’s favor.

      • Diskus1

        The only thing they have in common is the 80+ % market share.

    • deltatux

      But unlike Windows, Microsoft charges licensing fees for the OS and then lock you in through their APIs. While there’s locking in Android in some degree, the software is free to any manufacturer and the open source nature helped adoption. So, you can’t really call Android, Windows of the Mobile World.

  • ConCal

    I’ll take this with a big ‘ol grain of salt. It’s in Oracle’s interest to inflate Android’s income.

  • 404

    hey uh google can i have a small loan of a million dollars? im sure it wont bother you none

    • moew

      Lots of places can loan you $1,000,000. The interest is very high and can you afford the monthly payments?

  • jpswain

    Java was open source from the beginning. It’s analogous to communicating in English vs Latin, both open source but one language is more conducive writing coherently. So why would you expect to pay royalties.

    Mathematicians would not pay royalties on an algebraic equation vs a trigonometric equation sense both are open source.

    • Paul M

      people pay all the time to use mathematical equations.
      mp3 codec
      h264, h265 codecs

      elliptic curve cryptography

      they’re all basically maths formulae and algorithms.

  • aaloo

    pretty pathetic earnings to tell you the truth. so apple made more (>32 billion) from iPhones in last quarter of 2015 than Google made from android since its release.

    • Iain William Davidson

      Android is an operating system, the iPhone is a phone. What you really should be comparing it with is how much apple make from iOS

  • Paul M

    I suspect if you calculated the cost of getting android to what it is now, all the engineering time and efforts for the OS and dedicated apps, hardware design and certification, testing, conferences, training etc, it’d be HUGE. Probably not billions, but many tens of millions.
    Even if you multiple that investment by ten or twenty, it’s not going to be the kind of money Oracle think it’s worth.

    I think it’s sour grapes, Oracle failed to make java be commercially valuable and gave it away, then Android (bought by Google) used it as a key component and thus realised its potential.