Google distributes Android for free. Allowing anyone and everyone to use it as they wish. There are two ways that Google makes money from Android, one is ads the other is revenue from Google Play. Of which a percentage is shared with the wireless carriers. However, when Google announces their earnings each quarter, they don't tell us how much they make from Android and a number of other services and products they have. Many of them are lumped together. Well, we now know how much Google has made from Android since its inception in 2008, thanks to an Oracle attorney.
Currently, Oracle and Google are in court, and last week Oracle's attorney announced some numbers in regards to how much Android has made for Google. The search giant tried to get the judge to redact the information before it went public, but that was denied. It turns out that Android has driven in $31 billion in revenue since 2008. And $22 billion of that is profit for Google. While ads are still the biggest component of their revenue and profit, this is still a pretty big number for Google, over the course of 7 years. The reasoning behind this being relevant to the case is that, Google is being accused of using Oracle's Java to develop Android without paying for it. We've already heard that Android N will see the death of Java, which is slated to be announced at Google I/O in May.
The case between Google and Oracle have been going on for about five years now. Now that Oracle have extended their claims to cover the recent versions of Android, they are now seeking over $1 billion in damages for Google not paying to use Java to develop the platform.
While Google does distribute Android for free, they are still making quite a bit of money on it. Largely thanks to developers for creating apps and games, whether they are paid apps or apps with ads in them, Google is still getting a cut. Google isn't too happy about this information being made public, however. Stating that this information is highly sensitive and could "have significant negative effects on Google's business".