It's a good day when someone at Google can point out the obvious, but Vice President of Corporate Development David Lawee told attendees at the Stanford Accel Symposium that acquiring Android Inc. was the "best deal ever" for the search behemoth.

Lawee commented on the Android founder, Andy Rubin, saying, "I saw this guy in my building for two years, walking his dog, and I was like, I hope this guy does something." During his time at Google, Rubin shepherded the OS and helped it become a serious competitor to Apple's iOS, RIM's BlackBerry OS, and Microsoft's Windows Mobile.

The open source smartphone operating system company was bought for an estimated $50 million in 2005. Thanks to pairing the free OS with the recently acquired AdMob advertising engine, Google is expected to make $1 billion from this dynamic duo next year.

These comments come in the wake of recent observations from CEO Eric Schmidt showing how Android could bring in $10 billion annually. Suddenly $50 million seems like pocket change. Not a bad deal at all.

Source: Venture Beat

Kenny Embry
Kenny was tech when tech wasn't cool. He got his Ph.D. in communication studying how people form relationships on the Internet. He also worked in television news for five years.

He is the father of four, and his wife doesn't understand why he'd ever want to trade in a phone. Go figure.
  • David Sousa

    It wasn't really a surprise. During the days of Nokia, we were all expecting a cell phone with the software of a computer. I remember wanting a N82/N95/N900 just to run Skype well on it and program a few apps of my need myself on it. Eventually I got the Milestone/Droid. That is something S60 never was (more like firmwares of the ancient computers of the 70s) with its fragmented (the real fragmentation) nature and limitations. It was almost like we, "technology evangelists", could smell the days of permanent connection and ubiquitous computing in our pockets coming any day now ("now" at the time). Everyone who followed the industry saw it coming even before the iPhone, and it was just a matter of getting the UX right for its limitations (something Apple rightly did, that was the surprise).

    As always, it was not much what, but when. Android time to market was what really sealed its dominance, despite all excellent technical capabilities and designs (and I love all of it, being a user and app author myself) that were important to that success. No matter how much I like Android, timing was what sealed it, IMHO. It offered an alternative to iOS to the whole industry, and caught Microsoft with the pants down. RIM is still taking notice. Like many success stories, it wasn't an eureka, it was careful planning and hard work to come up first.

    Contrary to some products at Google (axed projects), Android served a huge contained demand. It's cheap computing to everyone (bolts, nuts, robots for everyone indeed), even in underdeveloped countries were access to computers can be either too costly or too limited. It is tearing down the digital divide wall of the world.

    Finally, I think the last frontier is ubiquitous computing. Robots for everyone, and now robots for everything. Maybe that's what Rubin is planning in its secret lab. ;-)