11bn downloads, 250m mobiles – Android is having a swell time.
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The Internet powerhouse just announced its Q4 2011 earnings, which jumped 6%, coining US$2.71 billion profits on $8.13bn revenue stream.
This has been a swell season for its Android project – a jaw dropping 250 million devices have now been activated in total, including three months (Oct-Dec) of Q4, indicating that Android could still be top dog in the OS battle, but we’ll know more when Apple announce its results next week.
This jump in Android handsets, which includes the likes of Samsung, soon to be owned Motorola and HTC, marks a fivefold jump from the 50 million activations it recorded in Q3, meaning 200m new activations were made since then.
3.7 million of these new ‘activations’ occurred over the Christmas period alone, Google previously said.
And the Android Market has also reached dizzying new heights with 11 billion app downloads, in total, 1bn in the last month alone, CEO Larry Page, revealed at an earnings call today, US time.
The Motorola deal was not included in the figures, which cost the tech giant a further $3.5bn but has yet to be approved by regulators. Google also said its Google+ social network, its answer to Facebook, now has 90m members – up from the 40m it had last quarter.
However, the Android boom wasn’t enough to keep investors happy with some analysts, who had predicted far higher growth rates, with some saying its investment in Android OS has been too costly.
Q4 operating expenditure was also up to 32% of revenue and capital expenditures was also high at $951m, over $100m above the $813m analysts expected, according to MarketWatch.
Other good news from the Google earnings was that paid clicks rose a whopping 34%, while cost-per-clicks fell 8%. However, Traffic Acquisition Costs rose to $2.45 billion. Google-owned sites generated revenues of $7.29 billion, or 69% of total revenues.
“Google got hit with the ugly stick,” Fort Pitt Capital analyst Kim Forrest tol Reuters. “You’ve got to ask yourself, ‘Where is the money going? What are they spending it on?’ I have a feeling it is on platforms like Chrome and Android, and things like that.”
And late last year also saw Google add a further hired 1,114 employees after its biggest staff intake of over 2000 staff in September.
Google shares have fallen almost 10% after missing analyst’s expectations, sending shares sliding to around US$583 after hours.
The earnings call is still going on in the US. Google Chief Larry Page said he was “very happy” with the results, which are no mean feat considering the major recession still haunting the US and Europe. Google’s profit figure for the same time 2010 was $2.54 billion.
“Google had a really strong quarter ending a great year. Full year revenue was up 29%, and our quarterly revenue blew past the $10 billion mark for the first time,” said Page in a statement.
“I am super excited about the growth of Android, Gmail, and Google+, which now has 90 million users globally – well over double what I announced just three months ago.”
He also went on to plug further his Google+ project, and with under 100m users it still pales by comparision to Facebook’s almsot 1bn membership.
By building a meaningful relationship with our users through Google+ we will create amazing experiences across our services. I’m very excited about what we can do in 2012 – there are tremendous opportunities to help users and grow our business.”