Why Creating an Android Phone is Cheaper than a Windows Phone

by: Christine TorralbaJanuary 23, 2012
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Apart from collecting over 70% on each domestically sold Google Android devices, Microsoft is asking for a hefty sum for its very own Windows Phone 7 mobile OS. Such licensing fees have already been estimated at around $10-$15 for every device such as Samsung and HTC. In fact, ZTE has already revealed that they were paying Microsoft between $20 and $30 for each device. This information was revealed by Santiago Sierra, ZTE’s UK Portfolio Manager, during the launch of the ZTE Tania Windows Phone. This is the first time that a manufacturer divulged information on the much speculated licensing figures on the Windows Phone.

To add to this, ZTE also said that creating a Windows Phone is more expensive than an Android because of ‘different cost structure.’ Even though Android has an open-source platform, there are still some implicit costs that are associated to the construction of an Android smartphone.

Once a manufacturer plans to create an Android phone, it can easily get the OS for free. However, it also has to do several legwork tasks; like picking out its hardware and ensuring that the software mixes well with the hardware. Moreover, Google works well and collaborates with different OEMs in order to produce the next best thing in Android smartphone technology.

Just a few weeks after Google announced their Motorola acquisition, there were a few leaked slides that showed Google favoring a few device partners (Motorola included) that are specific to Google’s taste. But because there are far too many Android OEMs available, this favoritism is branded as unrealistic and simply a rumor.

On the other hand, when manufacturers create a Windows Phone, they will have to deal with Microsoft’s precise specifications. Microsoft will provide support through the software drivers, code, and its own OS.  However, it doesn’t look like the mobile OS is paying off that much yet. Especially with the above licensing fees mentioned, it can be assumed that Windows Phone is off to a slow yet tricky start.

  • Anonymous

    This is all speculation and ambiguous assumptions. Have you considered the legal costs Motorola, HTC, and Samsung have had in dealing with Apple’s patent troll behavior? 10$ per device buys peace of mind of keeping Apple off your back and your lawyers out of court is WAY FREAKING cheaper than 10$ a device! Apple just spent $100 million in fees just with HTC….Imagine how much Samsung has spent defending itself against apple? Understandably not all Samsung’s court dealings were related to software and many were aesthetics related. You would also think that R&D costs would be cheaper making windows phones because you don’t have the hardware and soc choices that you have on android, so your R&D efforts are much more focused and efficient but who knows, I could be off my rocker. I like both wp7 and android and currently use a Samsung captivate with ICS to clear up my affiliations.

  • Anonymous

    LOL! This idiot doesn’t even realize Windows Phone’s license fee provides protection to WP OEMs in the case of patent litigation. Google provides no such protection, because they ripped off other companies ip to build Android.