Google is Not Invincible
Search remains the company's only unequivocal hit.
June 7, 2013 - 2:00 pm
Over at FT, John Gapper is just being silly:
Who will stop Google?
My answer is: nobody, or not easily. Indeed, the best comparison for Google seems to me not Microsoft in the 1980s but General Electric in the late 19th century – the age of electrification. Like GE, Google is a multifaceted industrial enterprise riding a wave of technology with an uncanny ability not only to invent far-reaching products but also to produce them commercially.
Google still earns the vast bulk of its revenues by selling search-targeted ads. NTTAWWT, either — Google is the best at what it does.
But what are these other commercial products? Android? Google makes more money from searches on iOS than it does on Android. And after sinking $12 billion into Motorola trying to defend Android, it’s probably a net money-loser.
So what about Moto, aren’t they selling great Android phones for Google? Not really. Moto is an also-ran, and Samsung commands damn near every penny of profit in the market for Android-powered phones. Horace Dediu even did a study a while back that, thanks to Amazon and the weirdness of the cheap Chinese domestic market, Google’s ownership of Android is only about 60% of sales.
Google’s Nexus-branded tablets? Google won’t reveal its sales figures, so who knows. But Google not revealing its sales figures is hardly an encouraging sign.