Google loves Android, and for very good reason. In addition to providing strong competition to the other tech titan in the mobile market — you know the one — the Android OS drives $31 billion in revenue and an incredible $22 billion in profit. That’s according to an attorney for Oracle Corp., who disclosed the figure in court.
Google was not pleased. Their reps said Oracle had no business putting Google’s private business on the record. The company has a history of keeping a tight hold on its finances. And why not, given the massive profits — and consumer costs — associated with mobile computing. Consumers may LOVE the product, but they don’t typically appreciate learning just how much a company is making on their dollar.
Google is hinting they believe the release was malicious, coming as it did during a lawsuit accusing the company of using Java software to develop Android without paying for it. So, Oracle is accusing Google of profiting off its work without compensation, and, to illustrate the damages, the company’s attorneys released just how much Google is profiting.
Google retaliated by filing a writ accusing Oracle’s attorneys of revealing information derived from confidential documents.
Now, on the surface, this appears to be a boring legal spat between two massive tech companies, something the average consumer could not care less about. Until you get to that profit number. Suddenly, the importance of this narrative is obvious, based on how hard each brand is working to either release or block that information.
Most consumers realize Google is massively successful, but, because their products and services are so popular, no one really pays any mind to how much that popularity hits their wallets. As long as it’s nebulous and vague, they don’t think about it. Now they have a Figure. A specific amount to glom on to.
Media love specific data points. They make for convenient soundbites, Chiron text, and graphic options. Consumers react to the information in a different way. Looking at this massive figure, most are unable to truly quantify, they simply categorize rather than interpret. Instead of Google being a company they love to use that makes products they must have for a happier life, they are now just one more Big Corporation Making Big Profits.
Perception, remember, is reality. It doesn’t matter what your vision statement says if people define you in a different way.