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.