The Business case for Chrome on iOS
Why would Google make Chrome available for the iOS devices? Aren´t they in bitter competition and so why make it nice to stay on a competitors platform?
This is a question I get a lot in discussions about the Apple vs Google competition.
The short answer is : Money.
The longer answer is:
To save money on the TAC (Traffic Acquisition Costs) they pay to Apple and to get the more data from the user.
Saving on the TAC.
Google pays every-time in a period a certain amount of money to Apple for the traffic Apple brings them. That´s called the Traffic Acquisition Costs in Search Engine terms. It´s a fairly normal way of doing business and getting more traffic to the search engines.
Thanks to some good investigation from Horace Dediu on the Asymco, we know that Google spend up to 1.4 billion dollar to Apple in 2011. That´s a lot of money even for Google.
But then the next episode is when the user comes via a Google channel, they don´t have to pay anything. That´s where the Google Chrome browser comes into play.
Every percentage they can erase from this 1.4 billion US dollar on TAC will be additional profit for Google.
A short calculation makes this already a saving for Google of 23.8 million dollar. (1400 million divided by 100 multiplied by 1.7) This maybe peanuts in the grand scheme of things but for sure they are happy with every dollar less towards Apple.
Get more data from the user.
It´s quite know that Apple´s safari browser really has some very high anti-advertising features. For example the standard setting of blocking 3rd party cookies and the Reader feature within the browser.
With the launch of the Chrome browser Google is able to recapture this data again and get even more data of the user. It´s not for nothing that if you´re logged in you get a lot of extra additional features, like tab synching, remembering of Passwords and logins , etc.
With these extra features available the user will be much more inclined to active their account and hand Google over their user data and usage of the browser.