Google are number two in a massively exploding tablet market. The number one, Apple are making billions upon billions from it. Google are making as near as damnit nothing. Yes in the annual report Google claim diversified revenues by business unit, but read the whole thing and you will find - they state quite clearly, but tucked away in small print, 96 - 97 percent of revenue comes from ad sales and ad management. Which means the revenues currently attributed to Android are in the main ad sale and ad management revenues occurring via Android devices (on the same logic, they could report revenues for their "iPhone" division).
The street is asking how this lack of real diversified revenue can still be the case after years of new product development and a global staff of c 90,000. Google are under pressure to create true diversified revenues. Their core search business, unlike an OS is open to competition (and MS Bing is competing and gaining a small but growing share). There is only one thing preventing Google realizing the diversification of revenue the market seeks, and that involves losing face and going back on their word. Making Android closed source and charging licensing fees for it. I've been saying it for over a year (and getting down voted simply for pointing out the economic reality as though doing so means I somehow condone that Google should go back on their word).
The simple fact is the opportunity cost of keeping Android open source is looking like it is running to billions. Of course it can be argued Android wouldn't be where it is with the buy in it has if it wasn't open source. It can also be argued keeping it Open source and free (but charging license fees for key features like the Marketplace and Maps) will ensure ongoing accelerated adoption and so is a great long term strategy. But neither argument changes the fact the opportunity cost of keeping Android open and free is to forsake immediate real and substantial diversified revenues in the here and now (e.g. not the faux diversified revenues Google currently report). It is increasingly difficult for Google to avoid the bare truth maintaining their Android strategy is forsaking here and now revenues. The commenter I'm replying too doesn't seem to appreciate understanding of the pressure the market and market analysts excerpt on a company. I'm afraid the most likely truth is, the days of Android being Open are over. The question is how long Google try to maintain the pretense and what tortuous permutations of licensing model they impose that allow them to tenuously maintain the argument it remains Open Source.
Page and Brinn face one huge moral dilemma. My betting is, rather than come right out with a change of policy they will continue to try to fudge it. But increasingly the user / developer community are realizing the true motive for their keeping Honeycomb source under wraps. Now even Open Source advocate Matt Assay has cottoned on, surely there can be few left who don't understand it. When the news first broke, Android advocates were rather naively swallowing the line "it's because we are concerned the code should be high quality before exposing it to the world", but I notice now the news has had time to settle in, few are arguing that on Google's behalf now.