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ZTE Pays Microsoft $23—$30 Per Handset For Windows Phone OS

ZTE Tania Windows Phone

Ever wondered how much manufacturers must pay Microsoft to license the Windows Phone operating system? Well, it’s probably a little more than you may think. ZTE, the Chinese manufacturer behind handsets like the ZTE Tania and the Orange San Francisco II, has revealed that it pays Microsoft between £15 (approx. $23) and £20 (approx. $30) per handset.

ZTE U.K.’s Portfolio Manager, Santiago Sierra, revealed the cost to TrustedReviews at the launch of the ZTE Tania in London this week. Sierra said one of the reasons the company’s Windows Phone handsets are more expensive than its Android-powered alternatives is the cost of licensing the operating system from Microsoft.

This costly licensing fee is quite possibly one of the reasons why we’re yet to see a true “budget” Windows Phone handset. On the other hand, Google’s Android operating system costs smartphone and tablet vendors absolutely nothing.

Though Microsoft is cashing in on these devices, too. The company charges patent licensing fees to around 50% of Android handsets, including those made by HTC, LG, and Samsung — three of the biggest Android vendors there is.

As TrustedReviews points out towards the end of its report, this is the first time a handset manufacturer has spoken out about Microsoft’s fees. And I don’t think Microsoft is going to be too pleased about it.

Are you surprised at the amount Microsoft charges to license the Windows Phone platform?

[via TrustedReviews]

Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...