Yesterday, Microsoft announced its latest Android licensing deal with Taiwanese manufacturer Compal, marking the company's tenth such agreement to date. While such a small manufacturer in terms of market share makes little overall difference in Microsoft's profits derived from Android, its deals with HTC and Samsung, combined with various smaller manufacturers like Compal, means it now receives royalties from over half of all Android smartphones sold in the US (the figure may be even larger on a global scale).
The major holdouts on the graphic above are Motorola Mobility and LG, though Moto is obviously the majority of that 47% chunk of green. Microsoft has been fighting fiercely in the ITC and federal court to pressure Motorola into a deal, which it seems before the Google acquisition was all but inevitable. With Google's purchase of Motorola, those plans may have been put on hold indefinitely.
Microsoft also published an interesting Android licensing relationship visual that shows who's seeking to make a few bucks from the current mobile OS leader:
While this graphic doesn't include some of the major manufacturers (like ASUS and LG), it gives a good sense of how the Android patent war is progressing. While no manufacturer has yet caved to Apple's patent infringement claims (it's unclear if Apple even wants to settle), it's clear that Microsoft has had a large degree of success in its licensing campaign.
If Motorola makes a deal with Microsoft, it will all but cement the legitimacy of Microsoft's patent infringement allegations, forcing smaller players in the Android handset game to make a deal, or risk the wrath of Microsoft's legal department. Given that HTC and Samsung have already accepted Microsoft's offer, any continued resistance to licensing from Motorola is hard to look at with anything but a skeptical eye. Notably, HTC and Samsung do manufacture Windows Phone 7 handsets as well as Android phones, while Motorola has dedicated its smartphone lineup to Android alone for the past 2 years.
Google's acquisition of Motorola has likely raised the stakes of the patent dispute with Microsoft, as a deal with Motorola would be, at best, a tangential admittance of defeat by Google. While Google has expressed they wish to operate Motorola Mobility "at arm's length," there's little denying the two now have an undivided interest in the continued success and IP viability of the Android platform.