We have been seeing Apple attacking the Google Android OS which is running on a majority of smart phones around the world. These attacks have not been directly against Google, but instead against the companies which are using the Android OS. And these continuing lawsuits for patent infringements are going to begin to have a chilling affect on the future for Android and smart phones. Up until a few months ago, we would have considered that Android was going to outlast all the Apple lawsuits, but it now appears that phone manufacturers are going to be getting other options presented to them. And one of those other options will come from Microsoft and Windows Phone 8.
The continuing lawsuits being filed from Apple are going to alter the long term future for the Android OS. There are a lot of you who would not agree with that statement, but given the legal costs and the reoccurring license fees when a company is forced to settle, it makes Android less attractive. Android gives away its Android OS and that is what has made it so attractive to handset manufacturers. The result is global market share for Android. But it is not really free as there are costs associated with defending your use of it. And those instances are growing.
We know that Microsoft charges license fees for the use of their Windows Phone OS. And with those fees, there is an expectation that you will not have to face the same situation which has come down on Samsung, HTC and others. We all know about the lawsuits around the world between Samsung and Apple. And the legal feeds for that alone is draining money from Samsung. We know that Apple offered Samsung a licensing deal at one point of $30 per phone and then be able to use all the iPhone patents. That is a healthy cost to put out there from Apple.
And Samsung is not the only one. HTC has also been involved with a patent lawsuit with Apple and agreed to a settlement paying a fee of between $6 to $8 per Android phone sold. That will cut into what HTC can charge for their phones. These numbers are coming from unnamed sources and is not directly from Apple or HTC. HTC has been seeing declining sales over the past few years and with the lawsuits, it places a drain on the company. And these are not the only ones.
With all of this going on, companies are going to begin to look elsewhere for an OS to drive their smart phones. One is to develop their own, but that puts you out there by yourself in offering new features. Microsoft may be the wave of the future for phone as manufacturers look for an alternative to the Android OS. And with Windows Phone 8, the timing may fit well when making plans for next year. We are starting to hear of more companies looking to sell Windows Phone OS handsets next year.
There have been predictions for Microsoft to have a good foothold in market share by 2015, but it did not sound that reasonable. Looking at where things are at with Apple suing manufacturers, we might see a shift away from Android OS phones to Windows 8 OS phones. Apple may well be pushing manufacturers in that direction.
So much of this is speculation, but one has to wonder how long phone manufacturers can continue to defend themselves against lawsuits.