Microsoft (MSFT) adds ZTE (ZTCOY.PK) to its stable of Android licensees a week after having struck a deal with Foxconn. In a blog post, exec Horacio Gutierrez boasts "80 percent of Android smartphones sold in the U.S. and a majority of those sold worldwide are covered under agreements with Microsoft." Though Microsoft keeps terms confidential, the reported royalty rates and Android's staggering growth suggest Android licensing might now be a $1B+/year business, and a key reason why the E&D unit grew 33% Y/Y last quarter in spite of Xbox weakness. Android is almost certainly a more profitable OS for Microsoft right now than Windows Phone.
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