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17 April 2013, 15:07

Foxconn and Microsoft ink licence deal over Android

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Microsoft has announced that Hon Hai Precision Industry, Foxconn's parent company, has signed a patent licensing deal around Android and Chrome OS devices with it. The Taiwanese manufacturing company is believed to produce 40 per cent of the world's consumer electronic devices. The patent licensing deal is believed to cover all devices that the company makes which use either Google's Android or Chrome OS operating systems, but as usual, Microsoft did not disclose the financial terms of, or patents covered by, the agreement. Microsoft did say that it will be receiving payments from Foxconn.

The new deal is believed to be the biggest Android licensing agreement Microsoft has signed to date, by virtue of the large amount of Android hardware that is manufactured by Foxconn. Before this deal, Microsoft had estimated that more than 50 per cent of Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs) using Android and Chrome OS had entered into licensing agreements with it. Companies that have licensed patents related to Android from Microsoft include Samsung, HTC, LG, Acer, and Barnes & Noble.

As well as Android and Chrome OS devices, Foxconn also produces iPhone and iPad hardware for Apple and laptop components for Lenovo and other companies. Foxconn's 2012 revenue was over $110 billion.

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