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Google announces $1 billion in mobile revenue

Google revealed in its third-quarter earnings call that the search giant is on track to bring in $1 billion this year in mobile revenue and expects continued strong growth in the mobile market.

Google Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette prefaced the metrics by emphasizing that the company was making the product specific breakdown available on a "one-time basis."

"I need to make it very clear that we will not be updating these numbers going forward. We are merely sharing them with you as a proof point of the great momentum we're experiencing in our emerging businesses," said Pichette.

"Mobile revenue is on an annualized run rate of over $1 billion," said Jonathan Rosenberg, senior vice president of product management at Google. Search queries from mobile devices have grown 5 times over the last couple of years, with most of the queries coming from Android phones, Rosenberg noted.

Google is placing a heavy emphasis on the emerging mobile market. Mobile "is the future of search in the internet," Rosenberg said. Recent smartphone sales data shows that the Android mobile operating system is outselling Apple's iOS.

The $1 billion news comes as a rare glimpse into Google's share of mobile profits. In late September, IDC reported that it expects Apple to match Google with 21 percent of the mobile ad market share by the end of the year. A Google spokesperson declined to respond with figures of its mobile ad sales for the year, but assured that Google was "experiencing fast growth" in mobile ad revenue this year. "If we are losing share, this market is growing faster than any one we've ever seen," said Jason Spero, director of mobile for the Americas at Google.

When Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs announced the iAd mobile advertising program, data from JP Morgan revealed that projected iAd revenue for the second half of 2010 could give Apple as much as a 50 percent share of the emerging market. The iAd platform will receive a substantial boost in November when it comes to the iPad on iOS 4.2.

Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz believes iAd will "fall apart" as Apple's high level of control drives away advertisers. Adidas is rumored to have canceled a $10 million iAd contract because Apple had exerted too much control over the process.

Not everyone's experience of iAd has been negative, though. Nissan and Unilever both told the Los Angeles Times in August that they were pleased with the initial performance of the iAd network.

"We feel pretty strongly that this is the way to capitalize on where the mobile Web is heading," Chad Jacoby, senior manager of Nissan's media operations, reportedly said.

For its part, Apple will report its quarterly revenues on Monday, Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. Eastern, 2 p.m. Pacific. Whether the company will also release specific figures for mobile revenue remains to be seen.