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Larry Page talks numbers, Motorola, Chromebooks & more at Q2 earnings [Transcript]


Many expected Larry Page to talk about the upcoming Motorola Moto X smartphone at today’s earnings call, but unfortunately Page didn’t have much to say about the project. Other than saying he’s very excited about what unit has in store, Page didn’t spend long talking Motorola, possibly because it reported a $342 million operating loss and got rid of around 10K employees during the quarter.

Page did talk numbers– most of which we already knew– such as 900M Android activations (1.5M a day) and 750M Chrome users. He also confirmed that Google Play has surpassed 50B app downloads, a milestone that we knew the service was about to hit. Page said the company paid more to app devs in 2013 than in all of 2012, although he failed to mention any specific numbers.

As for Chromebooks, Page said the product line is growing fast and generally avoiding the general PC trend, but again didn’t provide a lot of specifics.

Head below the break to read Page’s full comments from the earnings call:

Hello everyone and thanks for joining our call this afternoon.

Google had a great quarter with over $14BN in revenue — up 19% year-on-year.  Amazing performance for a company that has yet to celebrate its fifteenth birthday!

We live in a world of abundant computing, with multiple operating systems and increasing numbers of devices.  It is a very different environment from when Google started.  There was essentially one OS and one device category:  the PC.

These kinds of changes don’t happen that often, once a decade, maybe even less frequently.  But the shift from laptop to mobiles, from one screen to multiple screens creates tremendous opportunity for Google.

With more devices, more information and more activity online than ever, the potential to improve people’s lives is immense: Getting you the right information just when you need it; Creating the tools to make everyone more effective at home and at work; and helping you share and remember the moments that matter in life.

It’s why I am so excited about the velocity and execution on our platforms, apps and devices.

First, platforms.  With hindsight, Android and Chrome were no brainers.  At the time they were big bets.

The momentum across these platforms is tremendous, as you saw at our annual I/O developer conference in May.  I was astounded we had over 1M people tuning in live just to watch our developer keynote!

We’ve now activated more than 900M Android devices worldwide–and we’re lighting up over 1.5M devices every day.  That’s pretty amazing given the first Android phone launched less than five years ago.

And apps usage is increasing fast.  Over 50BN apps have now been downloaded from the Google Play store.  In fact, we’ve already paid out more money to Android developers this year than in the whole of 2012.

I love the ability to access your “stuff” on Play anywhere.  Take our new music subscription service.  Launched in May, it is an easy, fun way to discover new music with all the songs there, ready to go.  You never have to think about the device you are using.

Chrome—even though only four years old—has over 750M users worldwide and growing!

Then next, apps.  Our goal is to design everything so it’s beautifully simple and hassle free.  Users shouldn’t need to think about our technology.  It should just work.

This quarter we completely revamped our maps UI.  The map is the screen, with no clutter around the edges.  There’s more information about your surroundings, so it’s easier to explore.  And we’ve launched a new, improved navigation feature—with notifications about incidents before you leave, and updates to save time if traffic conditions change.  Best of all, this new maps experience is now available on almost  all devices you’d be likely to use.

It’s the same with Google+. We’ve done a complete redesign to make use of the entire screen, and everything looks consistent whatever the device or the platform.

In addition, the team massively upgraded the photos experience, making software designed for professionals automatically available to everyone … for free!  There’s no need for wrinkles anymore!  Take a look on plus, many of your photos will now be marked “enhanced” and improved automatically.

Finally we launched a new communication app called Hangouts—you can talk to the people you care about across all the major platforms.  Video calls from your phone are very cool, give them a try.

And I’m excited about the progress we continue to make with search.  Our Knowledge Graph is now available in 29 languages—and we’ve expanded the range of information available.  For example, we just added nutrition data.  Ask Google how many calories there are in a glass of white wine and you’ll find out it’s 123.  Or an avocado … 234 calories.  It’s good to have the facts if you want to keep healthy.  And we launched Google Now on iOS in April.

In the same way, we want to make advertising super simple for customers.  Online advertising had developed in very device specific ways with separate campaigns for desktop and mobile. This made arduous work for advertisers and agencies, and meant mobile opportunities often got missed.

It’s why we launched Enhanced Campaigns.  Advertisers have upgraded 6M campaigns, that’s almost 75 percent of all their active campaigns.   And Nikesh will talk in a little more detail about the positive reaction from clients.  This is the biggest-ever change to AdWords and the velocity and execution has been great thanks to the hard work of all the teams.

Finally, devices.  There is so much excitement around new devices today, and the potential for innovation is tremendous.

You can now buy the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play editions, and enjoy the best of Google.  And there’s a ton of momentum around Chromebooks, which are growing fast and defying the more general decline in PC sales.

Finally I know you’re all eagerly anticipating what Motorola is launching soon.  Having been a tester for a while, I’m really excited.

We’re very optimistic about the opportunities in front of Google today.  The potential for technology to make people’s lives better is tremendous.  But to achieve that potential we need to stay focused.  It’s why we continue to invest the vast majority of our resources and time in our core products.  But my job as CEO is also to think about the future, and ensure we continue to bet on new technology that can solve big problems in the world.

Project Loon, which we launched in June, is a great example. Bringing affordable, balloon-powered Internet access to remote areas is an idea that Sergey and I had been thinking about for over a decade.  It was great to see that project literally get off the ground, and give people a bit more hope for an improving world.

None of this would happen without great people and we are so lucky that we have them.  I’d like to thank all the Googlers and Motorolans who make everything possible.  Keep up that velocity and execution.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.