May 27th, 2011

Yep, you heard that right. Microsoft makes more money from Android’s success than they do the success of their own platform. A lot more. You had to guess that in a world of an ineffective patent system, someone somewhere would try to bank off of Android’s fast-growing success. And you had to guess that it’d be one of their biggest competitors (as far as their name goes, anyway) in this space.

Microsoft gets at least $5 for the sale of every HTC phone due to patent infringement settlements that were agreed upon in courts. Doing some quick math, one analyst took the amount of Android devices he estimates HTC’s sold to date – 30 million – and came up with $150 million. He did the same with Microsoft, taking their 2 million units sold to date and multiplying that by $15, the cost for OEMs to use Windows Phone 7. That came out to be just $30 million.

And that’s just HTC alone. Microsoft is looking to get the same break from other Android manufacturers to get anywhere between $7.50 and $12.50 per license. It’s amazing and does well to exploit the problems with today’s patent system. All you need to do is stake your claim to fame on a certain technology and wait until someone hits homerun on it.

I won’t deny Windows Phone 7 is great in its own way, but it certainly hasn’t been as successful out of the starting gate as everyone thought it’d be. Android wasn’t immediately successful right away either, but Microsoft had years of experience and marketshare under their belts. Only time can tell if they’ll just continue riding the coattails of Android or if they’ll really break into their own as far as mindshare and market share go, but as it stands, they need Android to make significant amounts of money in mobile licensing. [Business Insider via BGR]

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