Feeds

Windows Phone may be cheaper than Android - Inq boss

Free operating systems not unlike lunches, apparently

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Google's proposed acquisition of Motorola has obliged one operator to look more closely at Windows Mobile. So says Inq boss Frank Meehan, who runs the Hutchison-owned handset company. He has a very interesting reason, which might surprise some of you.

Inq puts its own UI on Android, as seen here
with the Cloud Touch

Meehan says he thinks that the software cost of Windows Phone may now be lower than that of an Android phone. Android is nominally free: you download it and compile it. But the sticker price of the OS doesn't reflect the final software cost. A manufacturer needs to stump up for the royalties covering the wireless stacks. They may also be hit by other, unexpected royalty demands. And that makes Android a lot more uncertain than a supplier who can guarantee no nasty surprises, or insure against them.

"The advantages with Windows Mobile are that the legal issues and resulting costs seem to be much less," Meehan told GigaOm.

Google has refused to indemnify its licensees against patent trolls, leaving them to fend for themselves. And this means the cost of nasty surprises can add up when the final Bill of Materials is calculated. According to one analyst, Microsoft dinged HTC – the largest Android ODM by volume according to some estimates – for $5 per unit in royalties. It is a handy way for Redmond to compete with a free platform.

Inq was set up to create phones for Hutch-owned Three networks.

Meehan says other manufacturers are looking for alternatives too. True or bluff? As I wrote here last week, Android has received huge investment from licensees. And there's no immediate alternative they can jump to. Acquiring Motorola doesn't solve any immediate legal battles and until Google uses it to throw a protective umbrella around its Android licensees, it is useless. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Raspberry Pi B+: PHWOAR, get a load of those pins
More USB ports than your laptop? You'd better believe it...
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?