Google’s Android smart phone ecosystem growth has exceeded even our highest expectations (70% global smart phone share today vs. 20% in 2010). Android Smartphone shipments grew from 240mn in 2011 to 465mn in 2012, and 900mn by May 2013 [As announced in Google I/O]. The Android tablet ecosystem has been catching up with close to 50% Android market share by end of 2013 [IDC Estimates]
Android’s growth should help Google achieve three important strategic objectives – driving mobile usage growth, capturing developer mind share and encouraging Google product distribution, and containing the Google mobile TAC rate. Google also will see a reduced dependency on Apple’s products for distribution of Google’s search toolbars and apps.
Android O/S traction has clearly attracted mind share with developers, with apps available in the Google app store up 100% y/y to 800K, which has caught up to Apple at roughly 800K. One important thing to notice is the total app downloads on Google Play store(Android) still trailed that of Apple at 25B vs. 40B
Google said that six Google Apps were included in Apple’s App Store as best free apps of 2012, including YouTube, Chrome, Google Search, and Gmail. Google has also leveraged the Android ecosystem to help get OEMs to embed Google products in Android phones.
Monetization On PC Vs Tablets Vs SmartPhones by Google
Advertisers will no longer be able to distinguish between desktop and tablet CPCs, which will be grouped together by default. Google suggested that, “as devices converge, consumer behaviors on tablets and desktops are becoming very similar“.
After the advertiser sets their base bid for desktop / tablets, the advertiser can then set bid adjustments to increase or decrease their bids for mobile phones and different contexts, such as location and time of day. For example, when someone searches for “party supplies” on a smart phone within a mile radius from the store on Wednesday, then the location, time, and mobile bid adjustments set will apply, raising the bid by 50%.
Google is making mobile advertising a more automatic component in the campaign set-up, which should help drive more adoption, and making the process more streamlined. With Enhanced Campaigns, advertisers have a simplified platform (do not need to bid by O/S or carrier) and will be able to run ad campaigns that take better advantage of out of home device usage. For example, a flower shop that has a physical store and a website can use enhanced campaigns to better customize its advertising. When the store is open, the flower shop can have ads that show links to a store locator as well as the business phone number for smart phone users. When the shop closes at 5pm, the advertiser can set the ads to only show links to the website where customers can place their orders.
In the next article we’ll see how Google is aggressively Monetizing the Maps, one of the free products that it gave away for over 5 years.