We may not know how much revenue Google (NSDQ: GOOG) makes from Android, but we can say that at least one other company — a competitor — is doing quite well out of the open-source OS. Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) today announced a broad patent licensing deal with Samsung.
The deal makes Samsung the ninth Android device maker to sign on with Microsoft. Others include HTC, Acer, General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, ViewSonic and Wistron.
That leaves Motorola (NYSE: MMI), which is currently being acquired by Google, as the only remaining major Android device maker not to have signed a licensing deal with Microsoft. Microsoft and Motorola are currently in litigation over Android patent infringements.
Microsoft notes that this is a cross-licensing agreement and provides “broad coverage” for both companies, but does not specify how and where Microsoft gets covered in the deal. What Microsoft does note, however, is that it will receive royalties for Samsung’s Android-based mobile phones and tablets.
Exact financial terms were not revealed by either company, but a report in Reuters back in July claimed that Microsoft was asking for a fee of $15 per Android device, and that Samsung was likely to negotiate that down to $10 in exchange for a broader alliance in using the Windows Phone platform (which would also mean a fee for Microsoft, since unlike Android, Microsoft’s software and platform are not free to license).
If the report in Reuters (NYSE: TRI) is accurate, it looks like Samsung will be paying about $10 per device, since Microsoft notes that the companies have also “agreed to cooperate in the development and marketing of Windows Phone” as part of the deal announced today.
But that would mean crazy money being paid out. Just the other day, Samsung revealed that it had sold 10 million Galaxy S II devices into the channel. If all those get sold to consumers that’s a big sum on one device alone, let alone the many others.
Updated: Google didn’t pull any punches in its reaction to Microsoft and Samsung’s deal.
This is the same tactic we’ve seen time and again from Microsoft. Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, they are resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others’ achievements and hinder the pace of innovation. We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners.