Ina Fried

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Microsoft’s Making More Money From Phones, but a Lot of That Is From Android Patent Payments

As part of its disappointing earnings report on Thursday, Microsoft noted that it is making more money from mobile phones.

Ballmer-Windows-Phone

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean Windows Phone is raking in the bucks. The company chose to lump together its phone software revenue with the patent royalties it gets from makers of Android devices.

“Windows Phone revenue, reflecting patent licensing revenue and sales of Windows Phone licenses, increased $222 million for the quarter,” Microsoft said in commentary accompanying its earnings statement.

Indeed, it seems likely that Microsoft’s gains are coming largely on the back of Android, as the company has now signed per-unit royalty licenses with much of the industry, save for Motorola and Google itself.

Nokia, meanwhile, said it had its best-ever quarter for Windows Phones. But with total Lumia sales of 7.4 million units (along with a smaller number of phones sold by HTC, Samsung and others), the bulk of Microsoft’s phone revenue appears to still be coming from Android.

Microsoft declined to comment further or provide any additional breakdown on the figures to AllThingsD.


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