Pantech will become the newest Android phone maker to pay royalties to Microsoft for patent infringement, as the Windows Phone maker continues to aggressively go after offenders.
South Korea’s third largest cell phone maker is in talks with Microsoft over the amount it will pay the company for using its patented technology. No details have been announced yet, but the deal will likely be similar to the $5 per handset sale fee that HTC pays Microsoft, or similiar licensing fees it agreed upon with Samsung.
Once Microsoft’s negotiations are complete, the company will collect royalties from nearly 70 percent of all Android handset makers. Last year the Windows Phone maker said it would take a more aggressive stance against companies it believes violates its patents, saying it had yet to see an Android device that was not guilty.
Microsoft now collects royalties from some of the largest makers of Android phones in the world, including Samsung, HTC and LG. With so many devices yielding Microsoft profits, the company will likely use the extra cash to continue to build up its Windows Phone devices.
The company’s Windows Phone is far behind both Android and iOS in market share, but a strong showing of handsets running the platform at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show has given the OS some momentum. Analysts now believe that Microsoft will sell more than 40 million devices that run the platform this year, paving the way for even more growth in the future.
Microsoft will likely now concentrate on getting royalty payments from Motorola, one of the few large Android phone makers left not paying the company. Striking a deal with Motorola may prove more difficult however, as the company completes a transition from independent manufacturer to a property of Google.
Microsoft now grabs a healthy share of the revenue brought in by all Android phones, giving the company more money to funnel into its experiment with Windows Phone, and a soft spot to land even if it doesn’t take off as analysts expect.
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