By John Gruber
Endpoint security for teams that value privacy, transparency, and employee productivity. Try Kolide for free today!
Om Malik wonders just how much money Apple gets from Google for search engine referrals from Safari. When I reported last June that Apple’s revenue from Google was around $25 million per year, that number came from, as they say, a source with knowledge of the situation. But it’s not hard to see how that number is easily possible given the Mozilla Foundations’s financial disclosures.
Here’s one way to form a rough estimate. The Mozilla Foundation had revenue of $53 million in 2005 and $67 million in 2006. At that same rate of growth, they’d have $85 million in revenue for 2007. Let’s be conservative, though, and estimate 2007 revenue at $75 million. 85 percent of the Mozilla Foundation’s revenue in 2006 came from Google; let’s assume that remained the same. That’s about $64 million in revenue from Google last year.
Here’s a Wikipedia page with a bunch of different (and, alas, differing) estimates of web browser usage share. Net Applications claims Firefox has 17 percent usage share, Safari a little under 6. If that’s accurate, Safari has one-third the usage share of Firefox, and, presumably, sends at least a corresponding number of search referrals to Google. (Perhaps more, since Firefox’s search field is configurable to use other search engines, and Safari’s is hard-wired to use only Google. On the other hand, Firefox ships with a Google home page.) That works out to around $21 million a year. Other sources, such as TheCounter.com, pin Safari’s usage share at about 20 percent of Firefox’s, which would put Apple’s revenue from Google at around $13 million for 2007.
One might also presume — as I do — that Apple has better negotiators than the Mozilla Foundation,1 and that Google pays Apple more per referral than they do Mozilla. (E.g., Apple may well argue that Safari users, as a whole, are demographically more appealing than Firefox users.)
Where by “better” I mean “Steve Jobs”. ↩︎