Microsoft claims companies accounting for over half of all Android device sales have now entered into patent license agreements with the software giant. Android is estimated to be a bigger revenue source for Microsoft than its own Windows Phone, it's rumored that companies like HTC pay Microsoft $5 per Android phone sold.
What does that mean? When you buy an Android phone, there’s a good chance either the vendor whose name is on the device or one of the manufacturers who contributed hardware to it is paying Microsoft a fee for each sale. Today, Microsoft announced an agreement with Compal, an original design manufacturer that produces smartphones and tablets for third parties and takes in $28 billion in annual revenue. This was the “tenth license agreement providing coverage under our patent portfolio for Android mobile phones and tablets,” and the ninth in the last four months, Microsoft lawyers Brad Smith and Horacio Gutierrez write in a blog post.
“More important, today’s announcement means that companies accounting for over half of all Android devices have now entered into patent license agreements with Microsoft,” they claim.
According to charts in the blog post, 55 percent of Android devices by worldwide revenue are subject to patent license agreements between Microsoft and original design manufacturers, such as Compal. Moreover, 53 percent of Android smartphones by unit share in the United States are subject to patent license agreements between Microsoft and original equipment manufacturers, such as Samsung and HTC.