I stumbled across an interesting article at the Examiner.com, asking if Google was still relevant.
Its a pretty long article, so I will summarise the main point.
They note Android is not making Google much, with recent estimates arising from a Google filing in court suggesting the company only made $550m since 2008 from Android, but, with the Motorola purchase, would have spent more than $20 billion so far on the OS.
At the same time while nearly dominating the mobile market, the company is diverting users away from their real cash cow, the desktop search market (with the desktop supported for free by Microsoft of course), responsible for much more than 90% of their earnings.
And on mobile, users do not search the web, they use apps to get information. Brian Hall at the Examiner writes:
In almost all cases I instead go to Siri or an app. For flight information, for restaurant reviews. To check on what friends are doing. To discover new relationships. I go directly to the Wikipedia app or to the Amazon app or to WorldMate or Yelp, for example.
I go into the Twitter app to discover trends, find new people to follow.
And of course you can fit much less ads on a small screen.
At the same time their â€œandroid successâ€ is distracting the company from concentrating on real challenges like Facebook and Twitter and even Bing. All the time while Motorola drains their profitability.
The full article is a fascinating read at why Android may end up being Googleâ€™s white elephant. See it here.