An interesting pipedream by Farhad Manjoo: in order to make more money, Google should close down Android and start charging a licensing fee.
Of course, it will never happen. Never. Such a move would be the single biggest example of hypocrisy in the history of technology.
There’s another problem with this argument. Manjoo sets it up as solely a money-making ploy in the face of Apple — but as Amit Runchal details, it actually wouldn’t make Google that much money relative to Apple. Certainly not enough to justify destroying relationships with OEMs and consumers.
The biggest mistake here is the idea that there’s something, anything Google could do in order to turn Android into a business like the ones Apple has created. There isn’t. Writes Manjoo about Apple’s most recent earnings:
The numbers ought to ring alarm bells in Mountain View. They prove the folly of Google’s Android business model: Free and “open” (or clopen) may make money someday, but it’s hard to see how it’s ever going to make Apple-like profits.
It’s not hard to see, it’s impossible to see. There are three companies that have ever made more profit in a quarter than Apple did last quarter, and all three are oil companies. The only other companies even to come close to such numbers? All oil companies as well.
Google’s best shot to turn Android into a business with iPhone-like profits would be to create an Android-powered oil rig and get drilling.