Apple spent $2.6 billion in its winning bid to buy Nortel’s patents, the company revealed in its 10-K filing with the SEC (via Sammy).The total winning bid for Nortel was worth $4.5 billion. Apple led a group that included Microsoft, Research in Motion, Sony, EMC, and Ericsson.
This is just the start for Apple, it seems.
It is reportedly bidding on Interdigital, a mobile tech company with ~18,000 patents (awarded or pending). Jefferies analyst Peter Misek thinks Interdigital’s patent portfolio could be worth $3-$10 per iPhone, or $3 billion to $10 billion overall.
Since news of Apple and Google’s interest in Interdigital kicked up, it’s stock has soared and its market cap is now $3.1 billion.
That’s not a lot for Apple which has $76.2 billion in cash on hand. If it was going to spend money on a big acquisition this makes the most sense. It protects Apple and could potential crush Android.
Misek explains how: “Through litigation and licensing, Apple could cause the free Android OS to actually become a burden for OEMs, forcing them to become more conservative in their aggressive pricing plans. This is likely to slow the price cuts Android OEMs are likely to bring. So rather than a $150 Android smartphones, we could see a ~$200 device that is less likely to hurt a lower-cost iPhone.”