Microsoft recently stated that it will be charging for the operating system behind Windows Phone 7 Series, which could make smartphones running the Microsoft OS priced slightly more expensive than their Android counterparts running hardware with similar specs due to the added licensing cost–Google provides Android as a free, open-source OS for manufacturers.
According to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer:
“I think there’s something clean and simple and easy to understand about our model. We build something, we sell that thing … I think it’s not only in our best interests, but it’s a simple model that’s easy for developers, handset manufacturers, and our operator partners to deal with, to understand, and to build from.”
While licensing costs aren’t yet disclosed, Strategic Analytics is estimating that such costs would be around $8 to $15 per handset for manufacturers, like HTC and LG, both of which have committed to Windows Phone 7 Series among others. This cost would either have to be absorbed by manufacturers and/or carriers or will be passed onto consumers, the latter will result in a pricing differential between a Windows Phone and an Android phone running on similar hardware.