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ZTE: Windows Phone Costs $23-$30 Per Copy

ZTE, Chinese handset maked and a Microsoft Windows Phone partner, revealed that the company is paying £15-20 ($23 and $31) to Microsoft per copy to license the Windows Phone operating system.

ZTE Tania Windows Phone Mango smartphone

Santiago Sierra, Portfolio Manager for ZTE UK, during the UK launch of the “ZTE Tania” in London, revealed that “one of the reasons Windows Phone 7 handsets from the Chinese manufacturer would be more expensive was down to the amount it cost to license the OS from Microsoft placing that amount at somewhere between £15 and £20.”

Microsoft off late had been collecting royalties on Android patent licensing, but this is the first time that an approximate figure for the licensing of the Windows Phone OS has been revealed by a manufacturer and goes some way to explaining why manufacturers like ZTE are unable to release more budget-friendly handsets running WP7.

This clearly, reflects the kind of partnership agreements that Microsoft has signed with other handset makers for Windows Phone devices may differ — for example, Nokia the Finnish handset vendor last year announced of adopting Windows Phone as its primary smartphone OS. And, that Microsoft was the one to pay for that.

“The new $23-$31 figure is interesting in that — if it’s accurate — it provides one of the first (if not the first) glimpse as to what OEMs are paying for the Windows Phone OS. It’s widely believed Microsoft still currently gets more per copy from OEMs for licensing Windows than it does by licensing the Windows Phone OS. Estimates of the price-per-copy for the two OSes have been all over the map, ranging from $3 per copy per Windows Phone (for top tier licensees), to $30 to $100-plus per copy of Windows 8,” MJF said.

Update: In the financial results statement for the fourth quarter of the year 2011, Nokia announced that it has received USD 250 million from Microsoft, towards the deal the two companines struck about nine months ago regarding the loading of Windows Phone on Nokia’s smartphones.

“Our broad strategic agreement with Microsoft includes platform support payments from Microsoft to us as well as software royalty payments from us to Microsoft. In the fourth quarter 2011, we received the first quarterly platform support payment of USD 250 million (EUR 180 million),” the company said.

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