Samsung will soon be sending fat cheques to Microsoft every quarter. For every Android device sold by Samsung, Microsoft will be collecting $15 in royalties. Samsung is rumored to be negotiating this to $10. That is vindictive enough for Microsoft. Samsung is all set to become the smartphone king dethroning Nokia. With this new set-up, Samsung has to sell extra phones to make up for the loss or it should shift base and sell more Windows phones. Either way, Microsoft is laughing all the way to the bank.
Samsung is already battling patent war with Apple with Apple now calling to pull bunch of Samsung’s devices off the shelves. With this additional migraine of Android royalties, Samsung will be celebrating less about its Galaxy S2 device’s success and spending more time with the lawyers.
Google isn’t gaining much from Android as it is walking on a thin ice in the mobile game. Google lost a $4.5 billion bid for 6000 of Nortel’s patents to a consortium (read cartel) of companies which want Android to die. Google got cute with its esoteric pi number bidding and lost the bid eventually. Google has no notable patents to its name, and getting Nortel patents is its only way out. With 6000 patents moving away from Google, it really had blown all its chances in the patent war. Oracle is breathing down Google’s neck to get its fair share for the way Java is used in Android.
Android is quickly turning out to be a liability for all the manufacturers who embraced it. HTC has settled with Microsoft and will be paying $5 per device. Four other manufacturers have settled with Microsoft to pay royalties. With Samsung already lining up and Motorola coming up next, Android is no longer free. Irony is, manufacturers are paying royalties to Microsoft and not Google.
With just HTC royalties Microsoft is making more money from Android than Windows Phone 7. With few additional clients and the big fish Sammy, Microsoft will be more interested in Android than Microsoft. After all that’s where the money is.