May 27 AT 12:36 PM Alberto Vildosola 48 Comments

Microsoft is getting $5 for every Android phone that HTC sells (Rant)

Could Microsoft be making more money from Android phones than from its own moribund Windows Phone platform? It’s quite possible. According to Citi analyst, Walter Pritchard, Microsoft is making $5 from every Android phone that HTC sells. As an Android fan, if that doesn’t make your blood boil, I don’t know what would. Basically, all the effort that Android developers, members of the OHA, and the Android community put into growing the Android ecosystem, indirectly ends up helping Microsoft fund Windows Phone.  How ridiculous is that?

As you might know, Microsoft has been claiming that Android infringes on the company’s intellectual property. As a result of this, HTC and Microsoft signed a deal last year that allowed HTC to keep making Android phones, but it’d have to pay Microsoft a royalty for every device sold.

After that first successful deal with HTC, Microsoft started going after several other Android manufacturers. Including Motorola, and more recently Barnes & Noble. However, Microsoft hasn’t been that lucky after that first deal with HTC. Both Motorola and Barnes & Noble have put their foot on the ground, and even gone on the offensive against Microsoft.

Ballmer and Co. are taking advantage of the fact that Google doesn’t have a lot of patents in mobile technology, since the company is fairly new to that sector. But Google is not standing still, the company is in the process of buying Nortel’s patent portfolio. Which they specifically said would be used against those who threaten Google and the partners that support Android.

According to the same Citi analyst, Microsoft is currently asking Android manufacturers for $7.50 to $12.50 per device sold. If that seems high to you, that’s because it is. Barnes & Noble recently mentioned that Microsoft is asking for some “shockingly high” fees, and that the fee is actually “higher than what Microsoft charges for a license to its entire operating system designed for mobile devices, Windows Phone 7″.

With Microsoft possibly making more money from Android than from Windows Phone 7, they might as well give up on improving Windows Phone and throw all their effort behind suing Android manufacturers. I bet the legal department at Microsoft would love that. Microsoft the patent troll, yeah, that sounds about right.

UPDATE: According to Asymco, HTC has sold around 30 million Android phones, which means that Microsoft has made close to $150 million from Android. Compare that to the 2 million Windows Phone licenses that the company has sold for $15, which would result in $30 million in revenue. Yep, Microsoft is making five times more from Android than from Windows Phone. Like Horace Dediu from Asymco says: “Google’s Android seems the best thing that could have happened to Microsoft’s mobile efforts, ever.”

[1]

References

  1. Image via Gizmodo

Source: BusinessInsider

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • Jeffroid

    On the bright side, this also shows that they’re losing the world domination of droids.

    • Jeffroid

      I meant Microsoft losing to the world domination of droids.. bad phrasing.

      • http://Website duh2!!

        Its ANDROID !!

        • http://Website bob

          at least someone knows their stuff STOP CALLING ANDROID DROID why do you people not understand this?! DROID is a trademark/line of phones Verizon created. Android is the os that powers DROIDS.

          • http://Website Bacon_Hat

            Every time Verizon uses Droid that fat bastard George, douche that gave us Jar Jar, Lucus makes money too btw!!

          • http://Website CallMeMisterr

            Its a brand just like when people say pass me the “Kleenex” or saying I need to “Xerox” something. The correct way of saying it is pass me that damn “tissue”. and I need to me a MF’n “copy” lol.

    • http://Website duh!

      yeah that’s right!! i gave u the thumbs down!!! go figure

  • http://Website Louis

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • http://Website mikemick

      Good call. Since, Apple would never do a thing like this. (sarcasm)

  • http://Website Jorge

    Makes me glad I didn’t pay for windows 7 on my pc, lol.

  • http://Website Joanna

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • http://Website James King

      Go troll somewhere else, otherwise Microsoft will sue you too!

    • http://Website applesuxbigfloppydonkeydi…

      so your a proud owner of an iphone…which by definition means your a brainless mindless troll that whatches tv and believes commercials like if u dont have an iphone no other phone on earth can possibly have apps right? your an idiot i had a 3gs for 3 weeks it was by far the most excrutiating 3 weeks of my life ..apple makes there phones impossible to do anything with cant customize in any way shape or form cuz well mindless twits like u buy them.the only reason you have your less than smartphone is cuz samsung supplied the parts to build it and apple just threw the cute lil logo on it and said voola a phone…get a life go play with a rooted evo and see what u think afterwords

      • GRAW

        I couldn’t have said it better myself. Somebody buy this guy a beer.

        • CD

          To be fair, him calling someone a troll seems somewhat hypocritical, no?

    • http://Website ac

      I love apple. Tiny ass screen that I can’t do anything on, rigid ui that i can’t customize, singlecore goody, epic fail names, yay itouch. How amazing, itouch

  • http://Website WeWhoEat

    I have to say I have a huge problem with your statement “Basically, all the effort that Android developers, members of the OHA, and the Android community put into growing the Android ecosystem, indirectly ends up helping Microsoft fund Windows Phone.How ridiculous is that?”

    The pursuit of android developers is to innovate and expand the android ecosystem, not to crush and bankrupt any competition, competition nearly always helps more than it hurts. If Microsoft wants to be stingy about licensing any of its technology then its HTC’s job to either fight the charge or stop using the bit of unlicensed technology they are using and develop their own. Apparently HTC feels that it betters their android endeavors to license that technology from Microsoft and HTC has probably done more good for android so far than any other entity other than google.

    Your problem is with HTC and not with Microsoft

    • http://Website Ben

      I don’t agree at all. HTC are bound to sign with microsoft as long term supporters of microsoft and there is nothing we can do about that. BUT! It is totally microsoft’s unbelievable stinginess in suing them for some random shit. If HTC weren’t already in bed with microsoft, they would do what everyone else seems to be doing, which is to say go fuck yourselves. I mean it’s not as if microsoft could actually have a patent worth its salt which would stand up in court and guarantee them a win against android manufacturers.

      HOW THE FUCK ARE THEY EARNING MORE FROM ANDROID THAN WINDOWS PHONE 7!

  • http://Website Genjinaro

    LOL that picture is awesome.

    I’m not mad that they do. HOWEVER: It would piss me off if we actually lost any functionally because of Microsoft.

  • http://Website mikemick

    I guess I’m different since I am a multi-device Android user, and this doesn’t make my blood boil. If Microsoft claims they have patents, and HTC wants to honor those patents, then that sounds great to me. I’m glas they could agree on something instead of habitual suing.

    Also, although you could argue that it is helping fund Windows Phone 7, that’s a pretty big stretch. If Microsoft was a Mobile company (like RIM), the case would be stronger, but since their portfolio is so vast it doesn’t seem that way to me.

  • http://Website DKConstant

    You can bet a nut that Microsoft would trade that money for marketshare and mindshare in a heartbeat. I’m sure they enjoy the money, but they’d much rather have your attention.

  • http://Website Marcel

    As lang as we consumers keep up with this shit the big companies will get away with it. stop buying microsoft shit and be loud and clear about what you think about them.

    See what happend with the HTC bootloader.

  • http://Website Damien

    Gizmodo re-posted this story, as well. A commenter on the story named CaptainJack provided some much-needed details that are missing from all of the articles regarding this subject. In short, he explained that HTC is licensing the patents from Microsoft, but in return Microsoft is protecting HTC from companies like Apple. I think it’s important to put that perspective in the article. He writes:

    “I think people are forgetting the big reason that HTC is paying Microsoft to License Android, and that is indemnity. Apple started going around suing everyone that made an Android phone with multi-touch, for various patent infringements including HTC. Google failed to step up to the plate to defend these manufacturers that were being sued for using Google’s operating system (Apple wasn’t targeting Google directly as they have much deeper pockets and a tenuous working relationship with Apple)

    Microsoft saw this and stepped in with the various multi-touch patents they have in place as well. They informed any manufacturers that anyone licensing their OS would be provided indemnity from IP lawsuits, as Microsoft would pay their legal defense and come to their aid in patent suits that came as a result. HTC saw this as a cheap way to license patents and protect themselves from Apple’s lawyers and they have been paying for a Windows Phone 7 License for every Android device ever since. So ultimately Android was infringing on both MS and Apple’s patents. It became cheaper to just pay MS and have them reduce your risk from Apple.”

    • http://Website Shark

      Exactly, Microsoft are effectively doing HTC and other OEM’s a favour.

  • http://Website RD

    Can you guys please switch to Disqus comment system so you can filter out all the iPhone comment spam? Some articles have a ton of BS on them.

  • http://Website Mehul

    I believe this should be applicable only for the phone sold in the United States .. as such software low suites are not valid in many other countries.

    Thanks
    Mehul

  • http://Website Mike

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • WickedToby741

      HTC makes craphones? You amuse me. You’re totally right though, rubber bumpers in order to properly make a call every time totally delivers the best.

    • Drew

      Ah, okay.

      Careful holding your phone buddy.

  • WickedToby741

    It doesn’t seem to be hurting HTC much.

  • http://mill-industries.com Eric Mill

    HTC has sold 30 million phones…since they signed the agreement with MS? Asymco doesn’t say, and unless they’re responsible for retroactive fees on every phone sold before the agreement, that matters a lot.

    • http://www.photonlight.com Bryan

      Yeah, I caught that too. Would be curious to hear whether they have in fact sold 30 million since signing the deal, because the way it’s written it sounds like they’ve sold 30 million in total, of which a bunch of those would have been before the deal, in which case the math is wrong.

  • http://www.devolute.net devolute

    It sounds fair enough to me. What else are they going to do to make money? Innovate? ha!

  • http://Website jbrandonf

    This makes me regret buying my WP7 device last november. I’ve since moved on to android, but that MS would do something so shitty makes me not want to support them at all.

  • http://Website Dukenukemall

    Fricken scumbag leaches! Greedy ba$tards…

  • http://www.ringcentral.com/office/phone-system-features.html phone system

    I’m sure some of that is for ActiveSync technology… it’s a shame that Android devices, for the most part, use a crappy implementation of it.

  • http://Website Vishal

    Fuck you microsoft you pice of bullshit. Can’t make money on your own so you taking money from your elders?

    • http://www.hurpdurp.com hurp

      Really? Elders? Not to stick up with microsoft in this case, but, I think MS has been around for a teensy bit longer than android.

  • WickedToby741

    I really don’t see why this is such a big deal to everyone. Microsoft has money. Money is far from the issue in Microsoft’s case. Microsoft needs market share, and HTC selling 30 million Android phones certainly doesn’t help Microsoft in that regard. Also, if it was really that big of a problem, don’t you think HTC would have decided to fight it instead of settling? HTC must not have been too threatened by it because they folded pretty easily but then again it doesn’t really hurt their sales, just their profit. I kind of understand its frustrating that Microsoft makes more money directly off of Android than even Google (directly, not indirectly, which is where Google makes all their money off of Android), but like I said, its not like Microsoft has ever really been hurting for money. All this does is increase Microsoft’s stash of cash, it does nothing to show they know how to properly use this money to actually compete against Android (Windows Phone 7 is a step in the right direction, but it has its fair share of maturing to do).

  • http://Website Jason

    “Microsoft is making $5 from every Android phone that HTC sells. As an Android fan, if that doesn’t make your blood boil, I don’t know what would.”

    Why should it make anyone’s blood boil? The platform is still the same and it was HTC’s choice to make this deal with Microsoft. You even said yourself that Microsoft failed to make the same deal with other manufacturers.

    This deal has little to no impact on consumers at this point in time and only in today’s fanboy culture would such a trivial issue actually make someone’s “blood boil”. My opinion on this would be “so what? I still have my android and it’s still awesome”.

    Personally I love Android. In the past I’ve had two Android phones (although I recently switched to WP7) and I recently purchased an Android tablet. This deal does not affect my opinions of either HTC or Microsoft and I don’t see why it would. It’s not like licensing deals are uncommon in the industry.

  • http://Website Zee112

    HTC has been partners with Microsoft since Windows CE. I think HTC felt like they had to make this deal to continue that relationship. Antitrust behaivor?

  • http://Website Derek

    Well contrary to popular belief, google doesnt own the entire world. If they want to make a product that infringes on another company’s patents, then they must pay for the right to use that patent. Its called business.

  • http://www.techendeavour.com Rahul Aggarwal

    I think the HTC are under a fair deal with Microsoft for usage of their patent technologies in their smartphones. As far as the irony of the situation goes, its perfect to have earning with Androids, the competitors of the MS being a source of revenue generator is a rare case in business enterprises. The MS is a power house of talent that creates the most valuable technologies that is a necessary to all kinds of users.

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  1. On the bright side, this also shows that they’re losing the world domination of droids.

    • I meant Microsoft losing to the world domination of droids.. bad phrasing.

      • duh2!!Guest 4 years ago

        Its ANDROID !!

        • bobGuest 4 years ago

          at least someone knows their stuff STOP CALLING ANDROID DROID why do you people not understand this?! DROID is a trademark/line of phones Verizon created. Android is the os that powers DROIDS.

          • Bacon_HatGuest 4 years ago

            Every time Verizon uses Droid that fat bastard George, douche that gave us Jar Jar, Lucus makes money too btw!!

          • CallMeMisterrGuest 4 years ago

            Its a brand just like when people say pass me the “Kleenex” or saying I need to “Xerox” something. The correct way of saying it is pass me that damn “tissue”. and I need to me a MF’n “copy” lol.

    • duh!Guest 4 years ago

      yeah that’s right!! i gave u the thumbs down!!! go figure

  2. LouisGuest 4 years ago

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  3. JorgeGuest 4 years ago

    Makes me glad I didn’t pay for windows 7 on my pc, lol.

  4. JoannaGuest 4 years ago

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • James KingGuest 4 years ago

      Go troll somewhere else, otherwise Microsoft will sue you too!

    • applesuxbigfloppydonkeydi...Guest 4 years ago

      so your a proud owner of an iphone…which by definition means your a brainless mindless troll that whatches tv and believes commercials like if u dont have an iphone no other phone on earth can possibly have apps right? your an idiot i had a 3gs for 3 weeks it was by far the most excrutiating 3 weeks of my life ..apple makes there phones impossible to do anything with cant customize in any way shape or form cuz well mindless twits like u buy them.the only reason you have your less than smartphone is cuz samsung supplied the parts to build it and apple just threw the cute lil logo on it and said voola a phone…get a life go play with a rooted evo and see what u think afterwords

    • acGuest 4 years ago

      I love apple. Tiny ass screen that I can’t do anything on, rigid ui that i can’t customize, singlecore goody, epic fail names, yay itouch. How amazing, itouch

  5. WeWhoEatGuest 4 years ago

    I have to say I have a huge problem with your statement “Basically, all the effort that Android developers, members of the OHA, and the Android community put into growing the Android ecosystem, indirectly ends up helping Microsoft fund Windows Phone.How ridiculous is that?”

    The pursuit of android developers is to innovate and expand the android ecosystem, not to crush and bankrupt any competition, competition nearly always helps more than it hurts. If Microsoft wants to be stingy about licensing any of its technology then its HTC’s job to either fight the charge or stop using the bit of unlicensed technology they are using and develop their own. Apparently HTC feels that it betters their android endeavors to license that technology from Microsoft and HTC has probably done more good for android so far than any other entity other than google.

    Your problem is with HTC and not with Microsoft

    • BenGuest 4 years ago

      I don’t agree at all. HTC are bound to sign with microsoft as long term supporters of microsoft and there is nothing we can do about that. BUT! It is totally microsoft’s unbelievable stinginess in suing them for some random shit. If HTC weren’t already in bed with microsoft, they would do what everyone else seems to be doing, which is to say go fuck yourselves. I mean it’s not as if microsoft could actually have a patent worth its salt which would stand up in court and guarantee them a win against android manufacturers.

      HOW THE FUCK ARE THEY EARNING MORE FROM ANDROID THAN WINDOWS PHONE 7!

  6. GenjinaroGuest 4 years ago

    LOL that picture is awesome.

    I’m not mad that they do. HOWEVER: It would piss me off if we actually lost any functionally because of Microsoft.

  7. mikemickGuest 4 years ago

    I guess I’m different since I am a multi-device Android user, and this doesn’t make my blood boil. If Microsoft claims they have patents, and HTC wants to honor those patents, then that sounds great to me. I’m glas they could agree on something instead of habitual suing.

    Also, although you could argue that it is helping fund Windows Phone 7, that’s a pretty big stretch. If Microsoft was a Mobile company (like RIM), the case would be stronger, but since their portfolio is so vast it doesn’t seem that way to me.

  8. DKConstantGuest 4 years ago

    You can bet a nut that Microsoft would trade that money for marketshare and mindshare in a heartbeat. I’m sure they enjoy the money, but they’d much rather have your attention.

  9. MarcelGuest 4 years ago

    As lang as we consumers keep up with this shit the big companies will get away with it. stop buying microsoft shit and be loud and clear about what you think about them.

    See what happend with the HTC bootloader.

  10. DamienGuest 4 years ago

    Gizmodo re-posted this story, as well. A commenter on the story named CaptainJack provided some much-needed details that are missing from all of the articles regarding this subject. In short, he explained that HTC is licensing the patents from Microsoft, but in return Microsoft is protecting HTC from companies like Apple. I think it’s important to put that perspective in the article. He writes:

    “I think people are forgetting the big reason that HTC is paying Microsoft to License Android, and that is indemnity. Apple started going around suing everyone that made an Android phone with multi-touch, for various patent infringements including HTC. Google failed to step up to the plate to defend these manufacturers that were being sued for using Google’s operating system (Apple wasn’t targeting Google directly as they have much deeper pockets and a tenuous working relationship with Apple)

    Microsoft saw this and stepped in with the various multi-touch patents they have in place as well. They informed any manufacturers that anyone licensing their OS would be provided indemnity from IP lawsuits, as Microsoft would pay their legal defense and come to their aid in patent suits that came as a result. HTC saw this as a cheap way to license patents and protect themselves from Apple’s lawyers and they have been paying for a Windows Phone 7 License for every Android device ever since. So ultimately Android was infringing on both MS and Apple’s patents. It became cheaper to just pay MS and have them reduce your risk from Apple.”

  11. RDGuest 4 years ago

    Can you guys please switch to Disqus comment system so you can filter out all the iPhone comment spam? Some articles have a ton of BS on them.

  12. MehulGuest 4 years ago

    I believe this should be applicable only for the phone sold in the United States .. as such software low suites are not valid in many other countries.

    Thanks
    Mehul

  13. MikeGuest 4 years ago

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  14. It doesn’t seem to be hurting HTC much.

  15. Eric MillGuest 4 years ago

    HTC has sold 30 million phones…since they signed the agreement with MS? Asymco doesn’t say, and unless they’re responsible for retroactive fees on every phone sold before the agreement, that matters a lot.

    • BryanGuest 4 years ago

      Yeah, I caught that too. Would be curious to hear whether they have in fact sold 30 million since signing the deal, because the way it’s written it sounds like they’ve sold 30 million in total, of which a bunch of those would have been before the deal, in which case the math is wrong.

  16. devoluteGuest 4 years ago

    It sounds fair enough to me. What else are they going to do to make money? Innovate? ha!

  17. jbrandonfGuest 4 years ago

    This makes me regret buying my WP7 device last november. I’ve since moved on to android, but that MS would do something so shitty makes me not want to support them at all.

  18. DukenukemallGuest 4 years ago

    Fricken scumbag leaches! Greedy ba$tards…

  19. phone systemGuest 4 years ago

    I’m sure some of that is for ActiveSync technology… it’s a shame that Android devices, for the most part, use a crappy implementation of it.

  20. VishalGuest 4 years ago

    Fuck you microsoft you pice of bullshit. Can’t make money on your own so you taking money from your elders?

    • hurpGuest 4 years ago

      Really? Elders? Not to stick up with microsoft in this case, but, I think MS has been around for a teensy bit longer than android.

  21. I really don’t see why this is such a big deal to everyone. Microsoft has money. Money is far from the issue in Microsoft’s case. Microsoft needs market share, and HTC selling 30 million Android phones certainly doesn’t help Microsoft in that regard. Also, if it was really that big of a problem, don’t you think HTC would have decided to fight it instead of settling? HTC must not have been too threatened by it because they folded pretty easily but then again it doesn’t really hurt their sales, just their profit. I kind of understand its frustrating that Microsoft makes more money directly off of Android than even Google (directly, not indirectly, which is where Google makes all their money off of Android), but like I said, its not like Microsoft has ever really been hurting for money. All this does is increase Microsoft’s stash of cash, it does nothing to show they know how to properly use this money to actually compete against Android (Windows Phone 7 is a step in the right direction, but it has its fair share of maturing to do).

  22. JasonGuest 4 years ago

    “Microsoft is making $5 from every Android phone that HTC sells. As an Android fan, if that doesn’t make your blood boil, I don’t know what would.”

    Why should it make anyone’s blood boil? The platform is still the same and it was HTC’s choice to make this deal with Microsoft. You even said yourself that Microsoft failed to make the same deal with other manufacturers.

    This deal has little to no impact on consumers at this point in time and only in today’s fanboy culture would such a trivial issue actually make someone’s “blood boil”. My opinion on this would be “so what? I still have my android and it’s still awesome”.

    Personally I love Android. In the past I’ve had two Android phones (although I recently switched to WP7) and I recently purchased an Android tablet. This deal does not affect my opinions of either HTC or Microsoft and I don’t see why it would. It’s not like licensing deals are uncommon in the industry.

  23. Zee112Guest 4 years ago

    HTC has been partners with Microsoft since Windows CE. I think HTC felt like they had to make this deal to continue that relationship. Antitrust behaivor?

  24. DerekGuest 4 years ago

    Well contrary to popular belief, google doesnt own the entire world. If they want to make a product that infringes on another company’s patents, then they must pay for the right to use that patent. Its called business.

  25. Rahul AggarwalGuest 4 years ago

    I think the HTC are under a fair deal with Microsoft for usage of their patent technologies in their smartphones. As far as the irony of the situation goes, its perfect to have earning with Androids, the competitors of the MS being a source of revenue generator is a rare case in business enterprises. The MS is a power house of talent that creates the most valuable technologies that is a necessary to all kinds of users.

  26. Toll FreeGuest 3 years ago

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    Telcan.com provides premium India Calling Card and Pre-Paid India Calling PIN Services for Indians living in the U.S., Canada

    and even India. We also service Indian Business Travelers requiring a reliable, low cost India card service to connect to

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    https://www.telcan.com/index.aspx
    We maintain our own customer service and routing staff in the U.S. and India on a 24 hour basis. We have live support

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