Though nothing has been officially announced, the rumor mill suggests an ad-revenue share model between Google, carriers and device makers attributes to the growing popularity of the Android OS- likely accounting for the bevy of new devices hitting the market.
Google is likely sharing ad-revenue derived from built-in applications running on Android devices, and is using it as incentive for device makers to use the OS, and for carriers to support Android-based devices. Dangling the possibility of residual revenue from Google makes Android a very desirable commodity, much more so than any other OS.
In the past 18 months alone, the number of Android phones shipped has soared to 60,000 a day, with numerous devices sporting Android being announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and at this week’s CTIA, indicating carriers and device makers are responding well to Google’s lucrative offer- if it’s indeed true.
According to multiple sources familiar with the partnerships, the revenue-sharing agreements only occur when the handsets come with Google applications like search, maps and Gmail- since these apps aren’t a requirement of Android. This gives device makers incentive to include Google’s apps, while creating a win-win situation for all parties involved.
It’s a pretty smart move on Google’s part, and a move that has been rumored to exist long before Android was even introduced. Google’s long standing upper hand has always been its ad-revenue sharing model, which was made famous with AdSense. No other mobile OS has a company behind it with such massive ad-revenue rolling in every month, that’s available to share with carriers and device makers as incentive for using it. This gives Google the upper hand it knows it needs to advance Android to the point the company has always envisioned, and it’s working.