After last week’s dire quarterly results for Nokia, it has been reveled that the Finnish mobile phone maker actually made more money from Apple than it did from selling smartphones in the last quarter.
The same paradigm is happening with Microsoft and Android as well – the reason why both manufacturers are making more money from their competitors than their own mobile operations is because of lucrative patent licensing.
Both Nokia and Microsoft own sets of patents that are licensed by other companies in order for them to sell their phones. Apple is selling so many handsets that the money paid to the licensee (Nokia) outstripped the entire sales of their smartphone range.
Nokia actually lost money selling mobile devices over the last quarter, resulting in a overall loss of $1.7 despite the launch of a host on new handsets including the well-recieved Lumia range.
The Finnish company sold 108.5 million mobile devices in the the first quarter of 2011, compared to just 82.7 million device in this quarter, a drop of 24 percent.
According Nokia’s accounts they were paid $600 million from Apple to settle a patent dispute and also get a license fee for every handset.
What this means for Nokia’s future is unclear, but it’s clear the mobile market is getting too crowded and could see Nokia go the same way as Motorola and be sold off to one of the big three.
Last year, Google agreed to pay an astounding $12.5 billion to acquire Motorola Mobility, which like Nokia has been losing money making smartphones. Also like Nokia and Microsoft, Google has been earning significantly more revenue from Apple’s iOS than its own Android platform.