updated 10:30 am EDT, Mon May 30, 2011
HTC downs talk of Microsoft squeezing on Android
HTC on Monday shot down rumors mentioned by the Economic Daily Times and other outlets that Microsoft was raising the patent fees it was getting from Android makers. Following a Citi analyst report leaking royalty rates which showed HTC paying less than others, claims had surfaced in the Taiwanese press that HTC was about to pay more. Those aren't true, HTC said.
Citigroup itself stressed that it had been misunderstood as well. HTC was simply paying less than others because of its pact with Microsoft. Many have noted a correlation between the rates Microsoft wants to charge and whether or not the target firm is willing to make Windows Phone 7 devices, as companies like Barnes & Noble have complained of exorbitant rates that virtually guarantee a lawsuit where WP7 partners like HTC, LG, and Samsung haven't been targets.
The data has led some to argue that Microsoft is using Android patent claims to make up for lost market share and WP7's current difficulty in getting traction. Microsoft believes Android like Linux inherently copies some of its patents, but critics have noted that it also conveniently shrinks the profit margins on Android and makes the normally more expensive to run WP7 a more viable option.