If you were to ask anyone where Google is making the majority of their mobile revenue from, one would expect the answer to come back as the Android operating system as this is Google’s in house OS. Although this answer sounds valid and reasonable, this is not the case.
In fact, the cash cow for Google has been Apple’s own iOS. The Guardian, a British paper was able to deduce that Google had generated approximately $550 million in revenue during the years spanning from 2008 and 2011. Their calculations come from court filings that Google had to present in the ongoing litigation with Oracle. Although $550 million wouldn’t be considered chump change, it pales in comparison to the $2.5 billion that Larry Page stated that Google’s mobile business brought in for 2011. So the question is where does the other revenue come from?
Again, we go back to The Guardian who states that iOS is a big money maker for Google. When the first generation iPhone came on the market, Apple made a deal with Google whereby the search engine would be responsible for mapping as well as search information. This deal not not limited to just the iPhone, but later was extended to the iPod Touch and iPad. Considering that there are now more then 300 million iOS devices out in the wild, you can see that there is quite a bit of revenue coming in for Google.