A new report from TrustedReviews, which claims to have inside information straight from an executive at Windows Phone device manufacturer ZTE, states that the Chinese OEM pays Microsoft somewhere between $23 and $31 (£15 and £20) per device to license Windows Phone.
This figure might seem like a lot, given that most Windows Phone handsets now retail for $50 to $100 on contract, but it isn’t too bad when compared to the estimated $5 to $15 licensing fees that 70% of Android manufacturers now pay Microsoft due to patent infringements. The Windows desktop operating system, by comparison, usually runs manufacturers between $30 and $100, if not more.
ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley notes that ZTE likely pays higher licensing fees than Microsoft’s bigger partners like Nokia, Samsung, and HTC. ZTE currently only has one Windows Phone on the market, the ZTE Tania, so it’s probably safe to assume that the company does not receive the sort of “bulk discount” that its competitors do. Microsoft, as one might expect, declined to comment on the terms of its agreements with Windows Phone OEMs.