HTC and Apple’s Settlement and it’s Impact

Posted Nov 11, 2012 at 12:15 am in Threads > News

As you might have heard, late this evening reports came stating that HTC and Apple, who have been fighting over patents since 2010, have finally come to a settlement and have agreed to license all current and future patents for the next 10 years. I assume that HTC is paying Apple some money, it would make sense. You can read further about this on The Verge: Here and Here

I guess my question are simply:

  1. To what extent do you think HTC’s financial troubles might have impacted or influenced their agreement with Apple?
  2. How does this impact Android, Google, and other OEMs, or if it does at all?
  3. Does this change HTC’s strategy or it’s ability to continue to provide us with amazing innovative smartphones?
  4. What might have been some of the agreements between the two companies in terms of the licensing agreement and what one or the other can and cannot do?

I would think that this licensing agreement and settlement is heavily in favor of Apple and one reason might be that Apple could have continued to litigate HTC, since it is loaded with cash, while HTC, do to their declining profits over the past 3 or so quarters could not afford to continue along with the patent disputes.

I think that this settlement brings forth a lot of questions that might not be resolved because most of the nitty-gritty details, outside of what was revealed, are all confidential.

  • Ardrid

    1. I estimate 75-90% of this settlement had to do with HTC’s financial situation. It no longer made any sense for them to continue wasting money on litigation. Makes more sense to come to an agreement and use the “savings” on righting the ship.

    2. This will have minimal impact on Google and other OEMs. It’s highly unlikely that Samsung agrees to settle based on this. They’ve got deep enough pockets to keep fighting and I expect them to do so.

    3. I think this will make it easier for HTC to innovate. They longer have to waste resources devising methods that get around Apple’s patents. They can instead focus their resources on creating new innovations and features that will benefit all of us.

    4. I imagine this agreement will be very similar to the one Intel and AMD have had for years. It’ll be a cross licensing agreement whereby both parties agree to share key patents and technology. HTC will likely pay Apple a lump sum for the right to use those patents initially and then either royalties or patent sharing going forward. If I’m Apple I would’ve pushed for patent sharing over royalties; the IP is far more valuable and Apple isn’t hurting for money.

  • kazahani

    I’m actually glad to hear this. HTC can now go about using all the relevant smartphone technology that Apple claims to own, such as rounded off rectangles and clicking on a string of numbers with your finger, without fearing a legal battle over every single release.

    I’m telling you right now though, unless their next flagship phone comes out on every carrier with universal branding and a great marketing campaign, then there is no “righting the ship”.

  • redraider133

    I think this is a good thing. Yes terms were not disclosed, but it is one less thing HTC has on it’s plate that it has to worry about now. Hopefully this will help them get back into the game and be able to put back into their phones the things they had to change due to the lawsuits from apple. But first and foremost, HTC needs to stand up to the carriers and make 1 flagship and have it on every carrier. Otherwise there is little hope for htc sadly.

  • jamal adam

    I definitely agree, with this HTC can now focus on more important thing but they first need to stop with the exclusive smartphones because all I see that doing is just killing their chances of doing well. I know that they might want the money they get from having their phones be exclusive but in the long run, if they want to continue to be one of the top smartphone manufacturers, that’s not the way to go.

  • jamal adam

    I just wish that HTC would stop make all these exclusive phones. Now, that they have settled things with Apple, they should be able to keep their profits and spend it on things like marketing and get more brand recognition. I get that, they get paid for providing exclusive smarthphones to the likes of Verizon and AT&T but at the end of the day what should matter is that they are able to attract more customers into using their devices and this will help to increase their brand recognition and the only way to do this is by providing their smarthpones to multiple carriers and marketing the hell out of their devices.

    The HTC DNA, is a prime example, such a beautiful device should not be shackled to a single carrier. Another thing that’s disappointing is the fact that the One V and Desire C are not going to get Jelly Bean. I mean…in this time and age, it’s mind boggling that a 2012 smartphone is not getting Jelly Bean. If they are worried about the user experience being bad or worse then it just means that they need to refine their Sense 4.0 UI and get rid of unnecessary transitions or other effects and utilities that bog down the performance. Also, they need to get rid of their implementation of multitasking because it’s horrible and loses on it’s usability.

    I want HTC to do well but they have to start thinking outside of their box and get out and show the world what they can do and how they can make life easier, simpler, and more fun for their customers.