Great story coming in from the Guardian this morning; it turns out that Microsoft are making more money from Android than they are from sales of their own Windows Phone 7 handsets.
How so, you wonder?
Well it all revolves around one of the tech-worlds many legal battles that has seen HTC forced to fork over a few dollars to Ballmer and co. for every Android handset they sell. According to the Guardian, an intellectual property settlement between HTC and Microsoft, ruling in favour of the Redmond software giants last April, means that HTC have to give Microsoft around $5 every time they sell one of their phones with Android licensing. It’s a potentially very lucrative battle that Microsoft are still currently wrangling over with other Android handset manufacturers too.
If the terms of that settlement are correct, HTC are making Microsoft a pretty penny. HTC are thought to have sold around 30 million Android phones which, with a $5 dollar payment each time to Microsoft, would have lined Microsoft’s pockets to the sum of $150 million. Compare that to the 2.3 million estimated Windows Phone 7 sales, with Microsoft getting a return of around $15 for each of those sales, and WP7 has only made Microsoft $34.5 million.
Android licensing is quite the passive money spinner for Microsoft then, though it makes for quite an embarrassing comparision against their own WP7 devices. Perhaps the recent tie-up with Nokia (expected to bear their first WP7 branded fruits by October) will see Microsoft’s mobile operating system have its fortunes turn around.