The second quarter of 2011 was big and busy for Google, with stellar earnings and a record number of new products rolled out. But Android proved to be the most solid.
Speaking during the company's quarterly webcast for investors on Thursday, CEO Larry Page was excited about many things, especially Google+. But he certainly did not forget to address Android, especially given these incredible numbers:
We have tremendous new businesses being viewed as crazy -- Android. And actually have a new metric to report in Android of 550,000 phones activated a day. That is a huge number, even by Google's standards.
That's up from estimates reported just a few weeks ago that pegged the average at 500,000 per day.
Google's other operating system, Chrome, was also a key point during the webcast. After all, Chromebooks by Samsung and Acer started shipping during the second quarter after playing a major role at Google I/O in San Francisco this past May.
Although he didn't divulge any sales figures, Page did note that "Chrome is the fastest growing browser" with over 160 million users.
Google did shutter a few of its products during Q2 - namely Google Health and Google PowerMeter. However, Google execs did not address the expected rebranding of Picasa and Blogger to align with the growth and all-encompassing Google+.
As a general reflection (and likely the direction he plans to keep taking as CEO), Page said he wants Google "to create services that people in the world use twice a day, just like a toothbrush."
Now people rightly ask, how will we monetize these businesses? Of course, I understand the need to balance the short-term with the longer-term needs, because our revenues and growth serve as the engine that funds our innovation. But our emerging high usage products can generate huge new businesses for Google in the long run, just like search. And we have tons of experience monetizing successful products over time. Well-run technology businesses with tremendous consumer usage make a lot of money over the long term.
There are few such products that fit that toothbrush-like category for millions of people, even those without Android phones and tablets as well as Chromebooks. Just look at Gmail and Google Apps. Even Google+ is on the way to reaching that kind of potential (or rather, addiction on the part of its users).
Of course, many other projects are going to take considerably longer to attract that kind of attention - if they ever do. Examples are Google Wallet and Offers, both of which were also introduced in May. Offers is now live in Portland, San Francisco, Oakland and New York City.
Unfortunately, even though it was mentioned just once, Page did not go into detail about Google's driverless cars.