Google declares itself satisfied with Nexus, Chromecast, and Play Store performance

January 31, 2014
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Google Nexus 5 black aa 11

Google announced financial results for Q4, highlighting the 99 percent revenue increase from last year in the non-advertising business, which includes hardware and the Play Store.

More precisely, “Other Google Revenues” jumped from $829 million in the last quarter of 2012, to $1.65 billion in Q4 2013. Other Revenues is the money that Google makes outside of its core business, which is displaying ads on its search engines and partner sites. Granted, the proportion of these revenues is still small, at 10 percent of the total Google revenues, but the company declared itself pleased with the performance of a business that analysts have long dismissed as minor.

Importantly, Other Revenues does not include Motorola. The handset maker, which Lenovo will take over following a $2.9 billion deal, registered massive losses of $384 million in the quarter.

During the investors call following the announcement, Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora briefly touched on the performance of Google’s hardware products, commenting that the Chromecast and Nexus 5 did well over the holidays. The exec said there was “strong interest in Nexus hardware” and that the Nexus 5 (launched on October 31) had a “great reception”.

Arora also praised the performance of the Play Store, and noted that more users signed up for Wallet, the company’s payments system, as a result of increased interest in downloading apps and media from Google’s digital store.

CFO Patrick Pichette chimed in with a comment on Nest, which Google supposedly just wants to help scale. TechCrunch reported yesterday that Nest would become Google’s core hardware developing unit, in charge with much more than smart home appliances.

In vague terms, the company reiterated its interest in hardware: “As you know from the Nest acquisition, Glass and wearables, we’re continuing to innovate.” This last statement seems to confirm the recurrent rumor that new wearables, particularly a smartwatch, are in the pipeline.

Google’s praise of the Nexus line could be an attempt to pour water on speculation that the company would kill it starting with 2015, sparked by Eldar Murtazin’s claim that Google would axe the Nexus as a concession to Samsung. Then again, the non-committing language used by Google’s executives leaves plenty of room for interpretation.

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