Unless you’re a hardcore mobile tech fanatic, you might be surprised to know that Microsoft actually earns more money from Android than it does from its own mobile initiatives. And now, thanks to a patent deal with Compal Electronics, the company could be poised to take in revenue from as many as half of all Androids manufactured.
You may not be familiar with Compal, but it’s one of the world’s leading notebook makers. Last January, company execs said they were planning to ship roughly 3.8 million Android tablets this year. Figure about $5 per device, which is what Microsoft tends to make off Android licensing, and the total amount comes out to a hefty sum. (And that doesn’t even factor in amounts from Samsung, HTC, Quanta and other OEMs.) What’s more, Microsoft has even laid claim to some rights over Chrome OS hardware too.
No doubt, Redmond is becoming a sore point for any Google-related hardware partner. Word has it, the company is at the negotiation tablet with Asus right now over its Pegatron manufacturing division. Who else is on Microsoft’s radar? No less than Foxconn, the same one Apple relies on for its manufacturing.