updated 11:55 am EDT, Tue October 25, 2011
LG may get Microsoft license in November
LG may be the next major Android supporter pressed into making a patent license deal with Microsoft. Industry tipsters claimed to the Korea Herald that the two sides could make a deal at the APEC CEO Summit in Hawaii, which starts November 10. Similar to deals with HTC and with Samsung, LG is rumored to be getting a 'discount' for using Windows Phone that would drop the royalty to $3 for every Android phone.
Neither side would confirm the possibility of a deal. LG unusually claimed it hadn't "heard anything special" about its own phones. At least Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie will be at the APEC meeting, although a patent license would more likely involve more directly related executives like Steve Ballmer or legal counsel.
A license would see LG come full circle with Microsoft. It was the only major smartphone designer to make a major Windows Mobile deal in 2008 but was ultimately punished for it, losing share as HTC and Samsung got an early advantage on Android. Although it makes Windows Phones, it's been Android phones that have stemmed major losses.
Microsoft claims that its patents let it 'own' Android, although it has counted on targets not having the resources or will to risk a lawsuit if they challenge the patents. Unofficial estimates have it making $444 million a year on licenses for Google's OS, far more than it makes from slow-selling Windows Phones.