ZTE now gives Microsoft money for every Android device they sell

Andy Rubin, the man who gave birth to the Android operating system, did so at a company he started up called Danger. Now everyone knows Andy works for Google, but not many people remember that Microsoft actually purchased Danger for an estimated $500 million.

That means Microsoft owns quite a few Android patents, patents that they’re using to try to make the operating system less attractive to handset OEMs. Most Android phones that ship today, in Western markets at least, put money in Microsoft’s pockets thanks to IPR.

Last week I reported on Foxconn signing a deal with Microsoft. This week it’s ZTE.

How many companies are paying Microsoft for making Android devices? Over 20. And yes, even Samsung, the world’s largest Android smartphone maker, is paying Microsoft. How much? That isn’t known, but it’s likely a reasonable amount that’s not going to drive anyone to take Microsoft to court.