April 2012
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Day April 20, 2012

Forecasting Nokia's Windows Phone sales and Microsoft's mobile customer acquisition cost

Our agreement with Microsoft includes platform support payments from Microsoft to us as well as software royalty payments from us to Microsoft. In the first quarter 2012, we received a quarterly platform support payment of USD 250 million (approximately EUR 189 million). We have a competitive software royalty structure, which includes minimum software royalty commitments. Over the life of the agreement, both the platform support payments and the minimum software royalty commitments are expected to measure in the billions of US Dollars. The total amount of the platform support payments is expected to slightly exceed the total amount of the minimum software royalty commitments.

From Nokia’s Q1 2012 financial interim report

The figure of $250 million for Q1 is the same as the amount Nokia received for “platform support” in Q4 2011. This means Microsoft has paid $500 million over two quarters. During the same time frame Nokia shipped approximately three million Windows Phone devices. The average cost to Microsoft to acquire a Nokia Windows Phone user is therefore $167 per user. This is down from $250/user in the last quarter.[1]

If the royalty is equivalent to a license fee then the more interesting question is how and when will the royalty payments nearly match the platform support payments as expected. This might give us an estimate of what both parties are expecting from the relationship.