Google said its Nexus One phone, which it has been selling exclusively though its own online store, has been profitable for the company.
In the first quarter, the Internet giant's net profit surged ahead 37 percent and its sales grew 23 percent. Nevertheless, a surprising number of analysts' questions during the company's earnings conference call were focused on its mobile efforts.
"On the Nexus One, it is a profitable business for us," Google CFO Patrick Pichette said on the company's earnings conference call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "We don't give more detail on the economics, but we are driving the business to be a profitable business from the get-go."
So far, Google has been selling the HTC-built device unlocked for $529 (with versions that work for AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA's 3G networks), and $179 when paired with a T-Mobile contract. Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel are expected to begin supporting the device soon as well.
Google did not disclose how many Nexus Ones it has sold, and declined to say whether it would sell the gadget in any retail stores. A report in mid-March from mobile analytics firm Flurry said Google had sold around 135,000 Nexus One units. Pichette said that advertising and marketing for the phone did not have any material impact on Google's earnings for the quarter.
Jeff Huber, Google's senior vice president of engineering, said the company's Android smartphone operating system is now on 34 devices from 12 manufacturers, and the company is seeing 60,000 Android device activations per day. He also said that there are now 38,000 applications in Google's Android Market.
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Airtcle updated April 16 to reflect actual price of unlocked Nexus One.