Xiaomi products could soon be available in the U.S. thanks to a bunch of patents that the Chinese OEM has just bought from Microsoft.
According to the latest reports, Xiaomi has purchased about 1500 patents from the Windows OS maker. In addition to this, you will from now henceforth come across Microsoft apps on all Xiaomi mobile devices. These apps include Skype, Word, Outlook and Excel, among other common offerings from Microsoft.
In essence, this seems like one of those “scratch my back I scratch yours” deals for the two companies. Where Microsoft is happy to get its apps to a larger crowd, especially in markets where it probably has a smaller reach, Xiaomi is content with the fact that it now has intellectual property that it needs to break into the Western market.
At the moment, there are no specific details available regarding which patents Microsoft sold to Xiaomi. In fact, the Windows OS maker has volumes of intellectual property that are worth billions of dollars, with mobile technologies among them. Microsoft is currently making a fortune from the patents it owns, with reports claiming that the company made up to $2 billion in 2013 just from royalties paid by Android OEMs. As of now, it has not been determined the amount of money Xiaomi has spent on acquiring the 1500 patents from Microsoft. At the same time, it is not known what amount the Redmond tech company will be making out of this deal.
Microsoft is probably aware that the mobile world is not meant for it, especially when it comes to handsets. Despite the introduction of Windows 10 Mobile months ago, devices based on this OS are hard to come by. As a result, Microsoft is turning to the software part in order to get the most out of the growing mobile market. With its Office apps and other such as Skype, the company will be getting a huge number of customers from Xiaomi.
Reports indicate that Microsoft already has more than 23 million people using its Office 365 platform and each of them pays about $10 per month for the company’s software package. Now that these apps will be reaching out to a new market more easily, Microsoft is set to reap huge, possibly from increased subscription for the Office 365 platform, among others.
On the other hand, Xiaomi will be in a better position to start selling its handsets in the U.S., especially now that its handsets are only limited to certain markets across the globe. If Xiaomi successfully enters the U.S. market, it would spell tougher times for Apple since Samsung is already denting its iPhone market.
Xiaomi has not made it clear how it plans to break into the Western market, but now that it has struck a deal with Microsoft, this might just be the new avenue to the U.S. and its neighboring markets.