The Google / Oracle trial continues to reveal a wealth of inside information about Android — in addition to seeing the earliest mockups of a "Google Phone" earlier today, we're also seeing how the platform was doing in 2010, courtesy of a quarterly review presentation given on July 12, 2010 by Andy Rubin and four of his deputies.
There's a staggering gap between ads and apps
The most interesting aspect of the presentation are the revenue numbers presented, since Google has never explained exactly how much money Android generates for the company. Obviously things are different now with many more Android devices activated, but in July 2010 with 20m phones in the market, Google forecast that it would double the number of phones to 40m by year-end and make some $278.1m in revenue from Android: $158.9m on ads and just $3.8m on app sales. That's a staggering gap between ads and app revenue, even accounting for the 70 percent of app revenue that goes to developers, and Google expected the delta to widen; the company forecast making $840.2m from Android mobile ads in 2012 vs just $35.9m on apps sales. The company clearly saw this as a problem: Rubin listed "Market: low rate of app purchases, policy issues" as a "lowlight" for Android.
There's also a large gap between how much money Google was making from Apple's iOS platform and Android: in 2010 Android had just hit second place on Google's mobile revenue charts, with a $120m yearly run rate. iOS was solidly in first place, with a $281m yearly run rate. It's entirely possible the platforms have swapped places in the past two years, but this is the first direct data we've ever seen.
Google predicted nearly $1.5b in music revenue in 2012
Google was also planning on boosting all these numbers significantly with its music service — Rubin listed "behind on music, video, books" as one of Android's "lowlights" — and predicted that it would do $738m in music revenue in 2011 and nearly $1.5 billion in 2012. Those numbers have proven to be hugely optimistic, as Google Music remains a consumer afterthought, but it's revealing how quickly and aggressively Google thought it could move into the media business.
Update: Google just sent us the following statement, saying that these numbers are (obviously) quite old:
The discussions in the documents date from 2010 or earlier, so don't represent current thinking about our business operations. Our industry continues to evolve incredibly fast and so do our aspirations for our various products and services.
We'll let you know if we hear anything more recent.