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Oracle just revealed how much Google has earned from Android

By Koh Wanzi - on 22 Jan 2016, 11:09am

Oracle just revealed how much Google has earned from Android

We now know how much Google has made from its Android operating system, thanks to an Oracle lawyer who disclosed the figures during court last week in an ongoing lawsuit between the two firms.

But apparently that wasn’t supposed to happen because Google then asked the judge to redact and seal the transcript. Google said that the information from its documents were confidential for “attorney’s eyes only”, and added that it is not its practice to release earnings for Android. In Google’s words, “That non-public financial data is highly sensitive, and public disclosure could have significant negative effects on Google’s business.”

Going by the figures released by the Oracle lawyer, Android has generated revenue of US$31 billion and US$22 billion in profit. Oracle did not detail the method by which it arrived at the number, but the intention was to use the information to show that Google was in a rush to use Oracle’s Java software to create Android and profit from it. Essentially, Oracle is arguing that Google used a modified version of Java, owned by Oracle, to develop Android without paying for it.

But if the US$31 billion figure is accurate, this means that Google earned less money from Android throughout its entire existence than Apple earned from iPhone sales in Q4 2015, when it netted US$32.2 billion in revenue. Android was first launched in 2008, and makes money for Google in two ways – Google-supplied advertisements on Android phones, and revenue from the Google Play mobile app store.

After a tortuous series of court battles and appeals, the ruling currently stands in Oracle’s favor, and the argument revolves around how much in damages Oracle can seek from Google. It could even exceed US$1 billion, as Oracle has since expanded its claims to cover newer versions of Android.

Source: Bloomberg via The Verge