Google now counts 250M Android device activations

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) executives once again praised the momentum of the company's Android mobile operating system. During the company's fourth-quarter earnings conference call, Google CEO Larry Page said that "Android is quite simply mind-boggling." Page revealed that there are now 250 million Android devices activated worldwide, up from the 190 million Google announced in October.

Page reiterated the statistic that Andy Rubin, the company's senior vice president of mobile, cited in December: That Google is seeing 700,000 daily Android device activations. At the time, Rubin said via Google+ that "we count each device only once (i.e., we don't count re-sold devices), and 'activations' means you go into a store, buy a device [and] put it on the network by subscribing to a wireless service."

Page also said Google can make more money from Android over time, but he did not go into many specifics. (Google said in October that its mobile revenue run rate was $2.5 billion, up from $1 billion a year ago.) Page said that Google is still in "the early stages" of monetizing several new products, including Android. "We see a lot of potential for us to make money on Android, and I think you'll see us increase that a lot over time," he said.

Google profits from mobile search and advertising on Android, and makes ancillary revenue from premium mobile app purchases through its Android Market. Page noted that there have now been 11 billion downloads from the Android Market. 

Page touched briefly on the company's pending $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI), which still requires approval by the European Union and the U.S. Department of Justice. "We've been very clear that Motorola is going to remain a licensee of Android and Android is going to remain open," Page said. He acknowledged that managing the Android partner ecosystem is difficult, but said he thinks the company has done a "great job" of doing so. 

Google reported revenues of $10.58 billion in its fourth quarter, up 25 percent from $8.44 billion in the year-go period. The quarter marked the first time Google crossed the $10 billion mark in quarterly revenue. Additionally, the company said Google-owned sites generated revenues of $7.29 billion, or 69 percent of its total revenue in the fourth quarter.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Reuters article

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