Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 Based Smartphone From Samsung In the Works Amidst Royalty Lawsuit

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Man using mobile phone
A shadow of a man using his mobile phone is cast near Microsoft logo at the 2014 Computex exhibition in Taipei in 2014. Reuters/Pichi Chuang

Korean Times points out that, Samsung is gearing up to testing the stability of Windows Phone 8.1 OS to build inexpensive Windows Phone-based smartphones in 2015. Apparently, this news has come to light via an unnamed Samsung official working on the project.

According to the source, "Samsung has run pilot programs on the stability of Windows 8.1 software on devices. It is interested in promoting Windows mobiles." Speaking of Windows mobiles, the last Windows Phone OS-powered Samsung device was the Samsung ATIV SE, which was exclusive to Verizon. Notably, this handset comes with high-end, flagship-like specs and this was released back in April 2014, says Phone Arena.

On the other hand, if readers are wondering why Samsung has not released WP-based phones after the ATIV SE, it is because of a legal tussle between the companies. Specifically, the lawsuit between Microsoft and the South Korean conglomerate is over royalties. Apparently, Microsoft sued Samsung for $6.9 million worth, not too long ago in October.

Based on the lawsuit, the Redmond-based tech giant claims that Samsung owed the aforesaid amount in interest. This is because Samsung was reportedly late in paying $1 billion in royalties to Microsoft. Reportedly, Microsoft gets a royalty from Samsung for every Windows Phone powered device it builds. Reportedly, both the companies signed a deal in 2011 agreeing to the terms and conditions. Meanwhile, Samsung says, "Paying Microsoft the royalties as agreed to in the signed contract, would violate anti-trust regulations following Microsoft's purchase of Nokia Devices and Services."

With the lawsuit going on at the background, the unnamed Samsung official says the production of the new Samsung branded Windows Phone depends on the outcome of the lawsuit. In case, the companies agree for a settlement, Windows Phone enthusiasts will be able to purchase a new model from Samsung. If everything works out, the release date of the device will be in the third quarter of 2015.

The same official did not shy away from saying that, Microsoft clearly understands the fact that Samsung has "indisputable strengths in marketing" and thereby, the Windows Phone will get promoted effectively, in case they bury the hatchet. At this point, the two tech titans are attempting to reach a mutual agreement by sorting out the differences.

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