Google Paying Carriers to Go Android, Apple Still Charging for iPhone

CrackBerry Kevin vs. Android Balloon

Well technically Google seems to be sharing revenue generated from services like Search, Gmail, Maps, etc. with their carrier and manufacturing partners to incentivize their "going Android". If rumors of Apple making a cool $100,000,000 a year from Google for iPhone search are any indicator, the money may be nothing to sneeze at either.

Apple by contrast also gets $400 from AT&T per iPhone customer (the part AT&T subsidizes off full list price so those who sign contracts can get the iPhone 3GS for $199 instead of $599). So Apple is making money, Google is paying money (offsetting manufacturer cost), but the revenue -- and the access to Android users' data -- is likely so valuable to Google that they consider it well worth the investment.

Given how many and how fast new uber-Android devices are hitting the market, the carriers likely don't mind one bit. (Android aficionados who just bought the Nexus One and now want the EVO 4G, on the other hand, might prefer a bit of a breather.)

Either way, both companies are so obscenely profitable that their respective business models must be doing something right. Still, it's interesting to see the differences in those business models. RIM tries to sell their small network footprint, Apple their brand cache, Google their free OS with revenue sharing services. Which one will prove most successful? We'll have to wait and see.

[MocoNews via Phone Scoop via Android Central. Photo credit.]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Google Paying Carriers to Go Android, Apple Still Charging for iPhone


Apple gets 100,000,000 off 75 million devices, Google has what 6 million over 30 different devices, some that are even replacing google search. No wonder they're bribing carriers !

@Dave Ferrandino (dave01568)
it would be interesting although apple wrote the googlemaps app for the iphone so i'm not sure how much difference it would make. I agree with you on the google search tho ..

Yeah Dave, if you don't like the iPhone and Apple, politely remove yourself from the iPhone Blog and go chat with the 25 Google friends on their sites.

@Dave Ferrandino (dave01568):
I guess you haven't seen Yahoo! search. I've never used Google search on my iPhone. :lol:

People .. Android is a platform .. Iphone is a device.. Carriers would pay HTC or a manufacturer for the phones.. the Business models are completely different. People compare Iphone 's mobile business to Google's way too much. The closest competitor to Google is Microsoft.. . It will be interesting to see how MS does with Windows 7 .. it will be a challenge for Google..

Android is the only thing I'd leave my iPhone for, but AT&T only has one device right now, and it's pretty much a throwback to android 1.5. No thanks. Google has some appeal to me, but they're going to have to prove they're worth ditching my already stable and speedy iPhone first.

Why would google do that? Google makes much more money on search than it does on Android, at least currently. Search is the only thing that makes Google money.
Plus, as others have said Apple makes the apps that use Google's services (Safari uses google search and Maps uses googles maps API). Do you think Google would prevent Safari or Firefox on Mac or PC from using google search so that it would spur usage of Chrome? Makes no sense. Or preventing Windows netbooks from using google search to help with Chrome OS for netbooks, when that comes out? Seems silly too.

I completely agree with Matt. I have an interest but with my phone already steady and fast and complete, to a point, android has to do quite a bit more for me to ever consider leaving my effin awesome iPhone.

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