Microsoft is trying to convince Samsung to pay it $15 for every Android handset that it ships, but is willing to lower the price to $10 if Samsung deepens its commitment to Windows Phone.
This is according to Reuters, quoting Taiwanese news sources.
Although HTC reportedly pays Microsoft only $5 per Android handset, the higher price matches other reports.
Barnes & Noble recently revealed in a court filing that Microsoft asked it for more money to licence patents used in Android (which is the basis of the B&N Nook e-reader) than it charges for Windows Phone. Past comments from Microsoft execs suggest that Microsoft charges about $15 per handset for Windows Phone.
The weird thing: Samsung and Microsoft already have a broad patent cross-licensing deal which they signed way back in April 2007. According to the press release announcing that deal, it gave Samsung access to Microsoft patents for “existing and future product lines, such as computer products, set-top boxes, digital media players, camcorders, televisions, printers and home appliances.”
Note that phone handsets aren’t mentioned.
Several possibilities here:
- Phones really were excluded from the deal — that seems like a weird oversight, but possible.
- The deal has expired or is up for renegotiation and this is part of the negotiating process.
- The report is wrong.
Whatever the case, Microsoft is clearly not going to let Android be “free.”