Aug 04 AT 1:57 PM Dustin Earley 27 Comments

Microsoft makes more money from Android than Windows Phone


Amidst the flurry of drama between Google and Microsoft over patents (Google shot first, but Microsoft has better aim), some interesting numbers have started circulating that puts Microsoft’s Q2 revenue from Android way ahead of that from Windows Phone.

According to a tweet from Asymco analyst Horace Dediu, Microsoft made $15 a unit for every Windows Phone sold during the second quarter, with 1.4 million units sold. That comes to a grand total of some $21 million in revenue. Even though Microsoft only makes $5 for every Android phone sold by HTC, with 12 million units sold the company walked away with $60 million. The numbers may be a little off, due to the fact that analysts have previously suggested HTC sold 12 million devices total in Q2 (not just Android phones). Nonetheless, the numbers are huge. Even if all the Windows Phone devices sold were from HTC, that would still mean $5 a unit for over 10 million units sold–leaving Microsoft with $50 million in revenue from Android phones, or $30 million more than what the company made from Windows Phone.

See why companies value these patent portfolios so much? Imagine if Microsoft made $5 from every single Android handset sold, not just those made by HTC. Now imagine if two, three, four, even five different companies all got $5. The numbers would be absolutely insane. Insane enough so that paying over $5 billion for InterDigital’s 8,800 patents almost makes sense. Almost.

The reality of the situation is that this whole patent thing has gotten way out of hand. And it’s time for someone (the government, maybe) to step in and do something about it. Because with the way things are headed, lawyer’s rants or not, Google is not looking good.

Source: BGR

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Coolaaron88

    I agree that the Patent System needs major overhaul but be that as it may, patents are in place and if they are being infringed on the violating party need to pay up.

    Steve Ballmer is Androids pimp, now go out and make that money!

    • Adrian

      If Steve Ballmer is a pimp perhaps he needs to get some younger, more attractive hookers instead of keeping up the efforts of polishing up the old toothless whore that he’s got. You’re right though, why not be happy with getting $15 every time a competent OS makes a sale. It speaks volumes for the brand name.

      • Coolaaron88

        In what ways is Windows Phone not competent? I agree that V1 was missing a lot and there is no questioning that but what is wrong with Mango?

    • AME

      Pimping is typically looked at as a bad thing and is illegal pretty much everywhere due to its inherent, exploitative nature…

      so yeah, I agree with your description despite your reverence for pimping.

    • Jes

      Sad but true and 100% agreed.

      Also, lol about the pimp.

  • Marcus

    Microsoft needs to chill out. They already know they can’t win so they sue to get their money from Google. That is just flat out ridiculous.

    • Coolaaron88

      Why is that automatically the assumption?

      • Dustin Earley

        It’s not that they can’t win… but sales numbers speak for themselves.

        • Marcus



    I really Hope Google can somehow shake the grasp of these greedy companies. However it can be done . Lawyers or not, Government or not, they cant be punished forever for a being a tad bit late to the game. There has to be a cap on how long these entrenched and established companies can make off of those new to the game.

    • Leonick

      It’s simply how it works, if you are gonna use someone’s intellectual property you have to get permissions and pay any applicable fees.
      No one is doing anything wrong here, the industry have rule and you have to play by them.

      • BiGMERF

        That is why I recommend a Cap……

  • steve19137

    “The reality of the situation is that this whole patent thing has gotten way out of hand. And it’s time for someone (the government, maybe) to step in and do something about it. Because with the way things are headed, lawyer’s rants or not, Google is not looking good.”

    This article is about the way Microsoft took a step forward and is making money because of a good business decision. Of course, if Google had grabbed those patents themselves, and article like this would likely have a different tone, one of bashing Microsoft even more than we do already do. Anyway, that last paragraph has some interesting thoughts attached to it.

    “The reality of the situation is that this whole patent thing has gotten way out of hand.”

    Is it out of hand because Google got the short end of the stick? Would it be out of hand if Google got all the patents and Apple was suffering?

    “And it’s time for someone (the government, maybe) to step in and do something about it.”

    Again, is Google so important to your way of life that the government has to step in to help them? It’s not like they would help. Look how long it took for them to raise the debt ceiling. They are too busy tying their ties to get interviews, why would they step out and help Google?

    “Because with the way things are headed, lawyer’s rants or not, Google is not looking good.”

    If Google fails, so be it. That’s business. Perhaps Google made a bad choice in not bidding seriously on those patents. But either way, Google is not infallible.

    Let me say this quickly. I love Google, I love Android, and I will argue pointlessly for hours with an iOS fanboy about the benefits of Android vs. iOS. For me, this article should have simply told us about how Microsoft is profiting of Android via patents, and nothing more. Not a hopeless shake of the head that assumes Google is going down the drain.

    • Glen

      Makes sense. At the end of the day, patents are meant to protect innovation. And it adds a bit of competitiveness too. If someone infringes, cross license or settle.

      We cant keep whining about Google being attacked. Its business, patent wars have existed long before Android came into existence. Problem is, Google cant even make it look anticompetitive now with them holding majority US and worldwide share. Plus with them giving the OS for free to everyone, I dont think Google has a strong case here. Besides, this whole bogus patent issue. It may seem bogus and sketchy to us, but its the courts and DoJ who make the decisions. We can hope they make sensible ones.

    • steve19137
      • Dustin Earley

        That sounds about right.

        Bottom line is this:

        No one is buying (this is important now, notice I didn’t say creating) patents to protect their technologies. Period.

        If you can’t win the race, take ‘em out at the knees.

        And BTW, if Apple or Microsoft was in Google’s position, I’d hope everyone would still be as passionate about the issue.

        • steve19137

          yeah, me too. although i feel like that simply wouldnt be the case. the fanboys are just as protective of their products as the big companies are, if not more passionate. but thats simply internet culture. choose a side, never look back.

          • Dustin Earley

            “…never look back.” Haha awesome. +1

          • Leonick

            Indeed, fanboys are a bit too protective about “their products”…
            Why do you have to hate everything that is competing with Android just because you have an Android device? (Goes the other way around too of course.)

            Personally I have both iOS and Android devices and I call myself a fanboy of both, I simply don’t see a reason to hate on either, or WP7 and Blackberry for that sake.
            And I got to say, aside from the crossfire I really like this island in the middle :p

        • Leonick

          Everyone bidding on the patents that everyone is currently talking on probably likely did so for three major reasons.
          1. There where several patents that applied to products from several of the companies involved, all wanted those patents to protect themselves.
          2. As the patents applied to several companies the could besides protection and ownership lead to money trough licensing fees.
          3. Patents that can be used for future products and for cases one and two for future products.

          Apple might end up suing someone with them, but it’s rather likely Google would have too… Pretty simple really…

  • AME

    “Insane enough so that paying over $5 billion for InterDigital’s 8,800 patents almost makes sense. Almost.”

    You only factored in the revenue from the handsets themselves. The time and money spent on litigation adds significantly to that total. I would say it was worth it, not just almost worth it.

  • IDMD11

    If MS is really making that much more money from android than windows phone 7 then Maybe MS should just drop windows phone 7 and just support android through, apps, services, and android ui changes.

  • aj

    Why put any effort into our own phones when we can sit back and mooch off of android. No need to make any innovations android will do it for us and keep pumping out those money makers.. Just pretend to give them something interesting like mango with a supposed 500 upgrades which is us just trying to catch up but dont worry about it to much.

  • masterpfa

    Making money from Patents that you have filed yourself, is of course, right and it’s only natural that dues be paid.

    However this latest events of Patents acquisitions is a completely different matter, it is purely as business acquisition designed to restrict and prevent trading and should be looked upon as just that.

    In recent months we have seen competitors purchasing patents to keep Google and Android down, one poster on another even referred to Android being two face for trying to do the same. I have no intention of coming here to defend Google or any other (they are all big enough to look after themselves!) but if being attacked as Google are by their competitors do they not have a right to defend themselves and fight back.

    Sad as it is for the consumer that in a free market, competitors such as Apple and Microsoft look to not just profit from others, but restrict their trade and not because someone has stolen their idea, no but because since a product has been released, the patents in the meantime had been purchased.

    How about letting the products and the public decide for themselves as they are with the current sales figures indicating their choice.

    Google if it’s not too late you need to Patent this idea, then you’ll have the court to yourselves
    ” A Mobile Phone”

  • sylar

    Nice picture for the post. Does it surprise anyone that everyone wants in on the android pie?

  • Slith

    Patent system here in the US is a joke.