Last Updated Jul 16, 2010 12:00 PM EDT
At least as far as mobile is concerned, many of the earnings call remarks were predictable. In the Q&A session, as reported by GigaOM, there were also information so easily anticipated that you could have sealed your prediction in an envelope and had it read afterward, like a parlor magic trick:
- Google gives away Android as both a strategically offensive and defensive tool.
- There are currently 70,000 apps.
- Hardware vendors like Motorola (MOT) and carriers like Verizon (VZ) underwrite major handset launches like that of the Droid X, so Google has no expense on that front.
- Android's development costs are not material to the company's results (though, if you think about it, Google said the same about the hundreds of millions in revenue from China that it considered foregoing, so one person's immaterial is another's set-for-life).
The other possible interpretation, and one that I suspect might be accurate, is that Android users gravitate toward the Web over apps, the opposite of what seems to be the inclination of iPhone and iPad users. If that is the case, then mobile has split into two camps, with each gravitating toward a different approach to meeting their needs.
Call it the Open Web versus Curated Ecosystem if you want, but in plainer words, it means that we've got two substantial mobile markets, neither of which would be caught dead using the other's choice of tool. If the two platforms lean one way or the other as well, then there may be a natural balance that will require both platforms to satisfy consumers. All the talk of whether Apple or Google wins might be nothing more than the pastime of marketers and pundits.
- Google Earnings: Revenue Grows, but Company Seems Stagnant
- Google Diversifies; Non-Ad Revenue Grows 3X Faster than Ads
- Google Says Whew! and Pulls the China Gun Away from Its Head
- Google's Plans to TiVo YouTube Ads May Be Sign of Paid Subscriptions
- Google Unleashes Its Android App Zombie Army Strategy