Google CEO Larry Page has cited momentum from ‘big bets’ on key products like Chrome, Android and YouTube as the drivers for Google’s second US$10 billion quarter in a row.
The company pulled in US$10.65 billion in the quarter to March 31, representing a 24% increase year-on-year. Net income was US$2.89 billion, compared to US$1.8 billion in the same period in 2011.
The company’s cash balance is US$49.3 billion – around half of Apple’s near US$100 billion.
In a conference call with investors and journalists, Page says Chrome has reached 200 million users, 850,000 Android devices are activated every day, and YouTube ‘just keeps growing and growing’.
The challenge for Google is not to spread itself too thin chasing the many opportunities in the market, Page adds.
"We need to approach this business with the passion and the soul of a startup,” Page says.
Google will also be changing its stock structure, creating a new kind of non-voting stock and giving one share of this stock to investors for each existing share, effectively splitting its stock in two.
As for Google’s social network, Google+, Page acknowledged that there has been some confusion about the userships statistics Google has provided, and attempted to explain by saying there are two parts to Google+, the ‘social spine’, and the ‘social destination’.
The former is the backbone around which people now access Google’s products, like YouTube and Gmail, while the latter is the social platform itself. Page says as a ‘social spine’, usage is proportional to that of Google’s products, while as a ‘social destination’, Google+ is growing from a base of zero, and that’s why counting usership is a little misleading.