Kyle Baxter on Google’s motivations for Android:
Google isn’t a web application company—they’re an advertising company. That’s what they do best, and that’s what drives their company. Of Google’s $23.6 billion of revenue in 2009, all but $760 million of it was derived from advertising, and nearly 70 percent of it was from Google’s own websites.
Everything Google does must be understood within this context.
It is all about eyeballs. The customers of broadcast TV or news media are not those that peruse the content. Their customers are the organizations that advertise on those media. Those are the ones they service and the service is eyeballs for the ads.
Anything that drives eyeballs is what will be used, even if it does not serve the purposes of the users.
Now Google has done a better job of trying to keep the needs of the consumers and the needs of advertisers congruent but if they diverge, as they often do with other media, then Google will have to follow the path of the advertisers. That is where the money is.
So, if the advertisers, say book publishers, demand access to your email etc. in order to allow Google to sell books, Google may just have to do that. I’m sure they will ut up a fight but eventually, the need to service their real customers will create a conflict with those using their devices.
This is one reason so many media outlets are having problems – their need for capital now outweighs any real duty to the readers. Simply doing things that drive eyeballs is what they all attempt to do these days. At least those beholden to ads.
In contrast, the only people Apple really needs to service are those that buy their wares. There are really no other groups acting to push Apple away from that path.