LG is the latest to get locked-in to a licensing deal with Microsoft for Android or Chrome OS devices, including tablets and smartphones. The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, but as we know from other licensing agreements, Microsoft could be receiving upwards of $5 per Android device in royalties from OEMs. This marks the eleventh such agreement between Microsoft and an Android device maker; other licensing deals were struck with Acer, Samsung and HTC.
With the Korean handset maker now under its thumb, Microsoft claims more than 70 percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are covered under its patent portfolio. Microsoft’s certainly gained a smoother transition in the patent war than its rival Apple, which is trading licensing deals in for infringement battles and sales bans.
LG seeks key partners for growth
Though Microsoft may be LG’s latest partner through coercion, the manufacturer is looking to a friendlier partnership strategy in order to make gains in the competitive Android device market. While LG remains the world’s third-biggest phone maker overall, its shares are in decline and it has little prowess in the Android market compared to its local rival Samsung. So LG’s turning to “almost every alliance that the mobile industry can think of,” says the chief executive of LG’s mobile division, Park Jong-seok.
LG Caught price-fixing
LG may be competing with Samsung for Android market share, but South Korea’s two largest electronic makers have been found guilty of conspiring to boost prices for some of their products in their local market. South Korea’s antitrust regulator says LG and Samsung will be fined 45 billion won ($39 million) for price-fixing washing machines, flat-screen TVs and laptop computers. LG says it will step up efforts to ensure this doesn’t happen again, but who really knows what goes on behind closed-door meetings amongst industry executives?