Samsung to pay Microsoft for every Android device they sell

Samsung Galaxy S II AT&TGoogle’s dream of making a free and open mobile operating system is starting to look like a nightmare. Today Samsung and Microsoft announced that they have come to an agreement that will result in Samsung paying Microsoft a royalty on every Android device it sells – both phones and tablets.. While it is still true that no one has to pay Google to put Android on their phone or tablet it seems as though they will have to pay Microsoft. Neither company has said which patents are specifically being infringed upon.

Microsoft has already made similar royalty deals with several other Android device makes, most notably among them is HTC. Samsung and HTC account for over half of all the Android phones sold in the U.S. over the past year. The most notable company that has not signed a deal with Microsoft is Motorola who is the third largest Android maker in the U.S.  With Google buying Motorola, we don’t see a royalty agreement being made any time soon between Microsoft and Motorola either.

The reason Android device makers are signing deals with Microsoft is pretty simple, because they don’t want to be sued. In an interview Microsoft’s general counsel, Brad Smith said, “So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents.” In order to protect themselves from being sued by Microsoft, and ultimately paying more these companies are cutting hedging their bets and paying Microsoft upfront.  There has been no official word from Microsoft, Samsung, or HTC as to what patents in particular are being infringed upon, but Microsoft has a history of infringement cases against Linux-based products.  Seeing how Android is based on Linux it seems likely that this is at least one area of contention, but there could be other issues as well.

It is rumored that HTC’s royalty deal with Microsoft is for around $5 per Android device sold, so it would be safe to assume that Samsung’s agreement is in that area too. Part of Samsung’s agreement is the company’s continued support of Microsoft phones, which basically means that Samsung now is agreeing to keep making Windows Phone devices. In a report released earlier this year it was estimated that Microsoft is making more money from HTC selling Android phones than it is selling its own WP7 devices.

Samsung has already sold over 10 million Galaxy S II devices worldwide even before launching in the United States, so as it looks right now Microsoft stands to make a bunch of money once the Galaxy S II is widely available on multiple U.S. carriers.

Ultimately all these companies are going to keep making Android devices because that is what everyone is buying, so we don’t think Android is going anywhere in the short or long term.  If companies have to pay Microsoft for both Android and WP7 devices we can see them giving more attention to WP7 devices in the future.

Mobile

Huawei has a bold Plan B should tensions affect its software relationships

Huawei has its own software for smartphones and computers prepared, should its relationship with Google and Microsoft be adversely affected by ongoing tensions between it and the U.S..
Computing

The next Microsoft Surface Pro could have a redesigned kickstand hinge

A Microsoft patent could provide additional details on the hinge of the next Surface Pro. The patent describes "secured device portions" and the inner workings of a hinge mechanism for a device in space-constrained environments. 
Mobile

T-Mobile, unlocked Galaxy Note 9 phones finally getting Android Pie update

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.
Computing

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.
Mobile

Here's where you can pre-order the Moto G7 Power and its massive battery

After a number of leaks and rumors, the Motorola Moto G7, Moto G7 Play, and Moto G7 Power are finally here. The devices represent quite a spec bump over the previous-generation Moto G6 phones, yet still come at a reasonable price.
Mobile

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.
Mobile

Why premium is the most overused, and least understood, word in tech

Everyone has heard the word premium, and many of us will have purchased a premium product, but what does premium actually mean, and why is it used so much in tech? Here's why it's so popular.
Mobile

How to disable Bixby Home on Samsung Galaxy smartphones

Samsung's Bixby virtual assistant can be helpful, but Bixby Home, which sits on the left of the home screen, hardly offers any kind of value. If you're annoyed by its existence, here's how to disable Bixby Home.
Mobile

The best Moto G7 Power cases you can buy for your power-full phone

The Moto G7 Power's 5,000mAh battery certainly has the stamina to go for all twelve rounds. But the glass back could be a glass jaw of sorts. Protect your power-full phone with the best Moto G7 Power cases.
Mobile

Saving for a vacation? Here are the best apps to help you manage your wealth

Looking to start managing your money, but don't care for intricate software or spreadsheets? Lucky for you, we made a list of the best budgeting apps designed to help you rein in your expenditures.
Mobile

Most Android antivirus apps fail to provide malware protection, study shows

A study by AV-Comparatives analyzed the effectiveness of Android antivirus apps in protecting against the 2,000 most common malware threats. Alarmingly, only 23 of the apps were able to detect 100 percent of the malware samples.
Mobile

Walmart to launch it’s own low-priced tablet, powered by Android 9.0 Pie

Walmart will soon launch its own low-cost, kid-friendly tablet, which will be powered by Android 9.0 Pie. The price and release date for the device are still unknown, but it will reportedly feature a MediaTek processor with 2 GB of RAM.
Mobile

Safeguard your Sony Xperia 10 smartphone with one of these cases

If you're looking for some protection to keep your Sony smartphone safe, or you want a different style, we've got you covered here with a list of the best Sony Xperia 10 cases. There are clear cases, rugged cases, wallet cases, and more.
Product Review

Sony's Xperia 10 falls frustratingly short of budget brilliance

Better know for premium products, Sony does also have a budget smartphone range, but can the Sony Xperia 10 compete with great cheap phones from Nokia and Motorola? We put it through its paces to find out how it measures up.