Samsung now pays Microsoft for the privilege of selling Android phones. Of course, it’s being called a “partnership“. And yes, we’ve seen this before: Microsoft also strong-armed HTC into giving them a cut of the profits for every Android device sold.
Microsoft, sitting on a stack of patents they believe have been infringed upon by Google’s Android platform, has bullied yet another handset manufacturer into handing cash over. In fact, between HTC and Samsung, they’re going to make more money off Android than they do Windows Phone 7. And Google isn’t happy about that, calling the move extortion and issuing the following statement to TechCrunch:
“This is the same tactic we’ve seen time and again from Microsoft. Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, they are resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others’ achievements and hinder the pace of innovation. We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners.”
Of course, Microsoft is also trying to pull the same manoeuvre on the (now) Google-owned Motorola, but Moto keeps wriggling out of that conflict. If Motorola, who has plenty of patents of their own (not to mention Google’s), doesn’t budge, what happens next? Will there be a winner takes all patent war? Then again Samsung sells more Android devices than anyone, and they didn’t want to mess with Microsoft, so it’s anyone’s guess what Moto will do. [Microsoft, TechCrunch, AllThingsD]