Foxconn has become Microsoft’s biggest single patent licencee. While that might not be surprising — the Taiwanese manufacturer produces an amazing 40 per cent of the world’s consumer electronic devices — the fact that the patents are over Android might be.
In fact, Microsoft has long insisted that anybody making an Android device needs to licence its patents. Somehow, it’s generally done a rather good job of convincing companies to play ball: LG, HTC and Samsung all stump up, for instance.
Now, Foxconn has crumbled and will be sending rather a lot of cash Microsoft’s way, reports Ars Technica. Finer details are scant, but it is clear that the Taiwanese company will pay licence fees for all of the Android and Chrome OS devices it makes — including smartphones, tablets and televisions.
Consider that Foxconn makes Amazon’s Kindles and Acer’s phones — as well as all manner of other stuff without its name anywhere to be seen — and Microsoft has a nice new revenue stream. [Ars Technica]