Microsoft supposedly charges ZTE between $23 and $31 per Windows Phone license

Some interesting figures have emerged as to how much Microsoft charges its OEM partners per Windows Phone license. This is Microsoft’s bread and butter — they charge PC manufacturers on a tiered system for Windows licenses — so it’s not surprise they are making quite a bit of dough from their handset partners, too.

TrustedReviews.com has obtained information from a ZTE official who claims that the company pays Microsoft between $23 and $31 per Windows Phone handset license (£15-£20). It is unknown whether this takes into account preexisting agreements for Android patents, or if that is a separate fee (believed to cost between $5 and $15 per handset). It also believed that Microsoft charges its high-volume partners, namely HTC and Samsung, a lower fee correlated to how many handsets they ship.

The figure towers above previous estimates of license fees for Windows Phone, which were pegged at less than $10 for top-tier OEMs, with some analysts going as low as $3. Whether accurate or not (and there is no reason to believe a ZTE official would risk damaging its relationship with Microsoft as a result) the figure is a huge insight into Microsoft’s strategy for Windows Phone. Manufacturers of Android handsets, ZTE among them, have embraced the free and relatively open-source Google model, but with high licensing fees Microsoft does not need to sell as many handsets to make a profit from its mobile OS. However, I’m sure they’d still like to sell more than they have been.

ZTE unveiled its first Windows Phone, the Tania, last night in England.

Source: ZDNet

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