back to article Apple, HTC kiss and make up

A small island of good sense has popped up in the tumultuous ocean of smartphone patents: Apple and HTC have quit their legal battles for now. Specifics of the deal haven’t been announced, beyond a cessation of all legal action worldwide, along with a ten-year licensing agreement between the two companies, covering both present …

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Anonymous Coward

This was news in yesterday's Times.

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Anonymous Coward

Android fragmentation is logarithmic

Tally so far:

HTC - settled

Samsung - lost a jury trial with a penalty in excess of $1 billion, no major injunctions or victories against Apple products, numerous antitrust investigations

Motorola - numerous antitrust investigations, weighing down Google's financials

The Android reality distortion field is quite powerful. Apple and HTC have a common enemy, Samsung and not just hardware and software in the Android camp is fragmented but business strategies and cross-licensing strategies as well. Fragmented they will fall.

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WTF?

Re: Android fragmentation is logarithmic

Logarithmic? This word, I don't think it means what you think it means…

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Happy

Re: Android fragmentation is logarithmic

"no... victories against Apple products"

Been living under a rock these last few weeks, yes?

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Re: Android fragmentation is logarithmic

Tally so far:

HTC - settled with secret agreement (for all we know Apple may be paying them).

Samsung - lost a jury trial, but the verdict won't be upheld on appeal because of the foreman's links to Apple, potential conflict of interest. Samsung won the trial that had Apple write/hide/rewrite/hide by a different method statement on its UK website. Samsung products are cleared throughout the EU.

Motorola - had Apple's lawsuit dismissed with prejudice, Apple still owes Motorola FRAND license money.

There fixed that for you.

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Re: Android fragmentation is logarithmic

Additional to SolidSoup:

- Apple also got sued for $350 few days ago (yeap lost a patent battle)

- Lost iPhone trademark in Mexico

- AFAIK getting there arse whooped in Sales by Samsung (you brought them in to this)

- Are about to have as many as 20 of the most contreversial patents cancelled (some of which were used against Samsung in the $1billion suit)

- The German court decision should never have existed in the first place as the UK had ruled on it

- In South Korea (some sense prevailed!) and BOTH companies got hit with tiny fines and told to get on with it and stop wasting everyones time

So when you think about it, it's actually really bad days for Apple.... guess you really do reap what you sow.

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Re: Android fragmentation is logarithmic

ooops:

Apple also got sued for $350 few days ago (yeap lost a patent battle)

er ... $350 MILLION of course.... do'h!

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Thumb Up

Re: Android fragmentation is logarithmic

... when I consider Apples monolithic, centralistic business model, Android fragmentation sounds not that bad anymore ...

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Bod

Re: Android fragmentation is logarithmic

That's 350 Miiiiiiillion dollars, mwa! ha! ha! ha!

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Payment of License fees?

"The agreement does involve HTC paying license fees to Apple"

Where has this information come from, I can't see this reported by neither Apple nor HTC nor any of the press that have managed to get a statement.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Payment of License fees?

Hack's intuition. That's more than enough these days.

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Re: Payment of License fees?

HTC must have said it, otherwise they wouldn't have said the fees won't materially impact their balance sheet. Either that, or the Reg author made the whole thing up, which I find hard to believe.

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Facepalm

Re: Payment of License fees?

"HTC must have said it, otherwise they wouldn't have said the fees won't materially impact their balance sheet."

What HTC said was "There is no material adverse impact on the financials of the Company".

Which mentions nothing about licensing fees and as that is an investor statement it could be anything from there was no costs at all or that HTC had to close down their litigation costs with a final payment or a settlement fee of some kind. It is a big leap to suggest it means licensing fees were paid.

HTC are unlikely to have given The Register an exclusive on specific details for a confidential agreement between themselves and Apple.

"Either that, or the Reg author made the whole thing up, which I find hard to believe."

You haven't been around here long have you?

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Anonymous Coward

@DaLo - Re: Payment of License fees?

There is no material adverse impact on the financials of HTC as long as they will stop selling Android phones. This is what Apple was looking for, they were never interest in getting any money from HTC. Actually, Apple could even have paid HTC some money just to get them quit using Android.

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Apple are scum. The sooner they become irrelevant again the better. They have no friends in the tech sector anymore.

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Alien

Oh man, sorry had to laugh, you really believe any company in tech has "friends"?

Even if they did, do you think Apple would want any of them as friends after the years of trash talk they got, yes including from HTC's Peter Chou and their then (maybe still) best buddy at Microsoft, Steve Ballmer?

Is that how you start friendships?

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Anonymous Coward

And you're sure Google and Microsoft are any better? of course not, they're all money grubbing bastards. None of them pay a proper amount of taxes for all their billions of profit.

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Anonymous Coward

Get back to your fly fishing Samsung PR department.

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Stupid HTC Management

Why did they do this? By accepting Apples agreement they have given some validity to the nonsense patents Apple holds. If they had held out chances are the patents that haven't already been ripped up by the USPTO will be gone in a few weeks. Are they still going to pay Apple if that happens? They would have been much better off going to court and demanding that Apple prove the validity of their patents. It wouldn't have cost them anything as once they had been thrown out for being obvious HTC would have been able to claim all their costs back from Apple.

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Re: Stupid HTC Management

HTC is irrelevant in the smartphone & tablet market.

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Holmes

Re: Stupid HTC Management @Wang N Staines

HTC is irrelevant to crApple in the smartphone & tablet market.

There fixed it for you fanboi (yeah, I've looked at your previous posts).

RBS analyst Wanli Wang said Apple likely settled with HTC because it "no longer considers HTC a threat

Samsung is still the perceived threat to Apple, Samsung have being innovating on the range to electric/electronic in the same way that the Japanese did during the 70's and 80's. Samsung also have an advantage over Apple in the range of goods they produce, laptops, laser printers, televisions, DVD players, MP3 players, camcorders, refrigerators, air conditioners, air purifiers, washers, microwave ovens, and vacuum cleaners. If you live in the far east you may also have a Samsung credit card, insurance, or have been to their theme park.

This gives Samsung a huge advantage over crApple in terms of customer sentiment, If you've got a Samsung product you are happy then you are likely to buy another Samsung product such as a fondle slab or phone.

I said Samsung is still the perceived threat to crApple, the real threat to Apple is...... Apple, IN a joint statement release by HTC and Apple Peter Chou (HTC's CX) and Tim Cook announced that they were pleased to have resolved this dispute with Apple both companies can focus on innovation instead of litigation. Thankfully Tim Cook doesn't seem to be blighted with Steve Jobs's obsession of destroying android and has realised that it is innovation that gives a company the 'edge' over its competitors.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Stupid HTC Management @Wang N Staines

My beer fridge is a Samsung - but I don't care what it looks like as it's stuck in the garage. That's about as much innovation as they do - generally the stuff works but let's not kid ourselves it's not made the same as Apple or even many others.

they need to be careful - HTC, Asus or ?? could easily come out with the new 'best' Android phone and Samsung are in trouble AND they lose Apple as a customer.

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Re: Stupid HTC Management

The verge's article on why they might of done this has some interesting points

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 10:52GMT - Re: Stupid HTC Management @Wang N Staines

HTC can no longer come out with any Android phone, ever. This was the goal of both Microsoft and Apple lawsuits brought against them. From now on, HTC will be a proud member lost in the mass of Winows Phone makers, and die a slow death there.

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Coat

Re: Stupid HTC Management @Wang N Staines

My beer fridge is a Samsung"

Imagine if it was an Apple fridge.

It would look "cool".

It would scan all items in and out, re-ordering as required.

It would be black, with rounded corners.

You can play Angry Birds on the front panel LCD.

But.

It needs a special connection to power it (not supplied)

Goods can only be bought from the Apple App Store because only they use the special NFC tags the fridge can read. If you try to put a non-tagged item in it powers off until you remove it.

Mines the one with the asbestos lined freezer mitts in the pocket.

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Holmes

I'm probably wrong but...

My guess is that Apple are playing Taiwan off against mainland China to secure themselves a better unit price, the margin difference being far better in the long run for Apple than having to settle with Samsung in South Korea with it's more progressive workers rights and safety legislation (=greater costs). The issue for HTC however is that it will be seen as sleeping with the enemy. If Apple can force them to self alienate themselves then that serves them well even if HTC are off the hook for 10 years.

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Headmaster

Re: I'm probably wrong but...

It does sound a bit off the mark, not sure what you mean by playing Taiwan vs mainland China?

Are you aware that Foxconn (as well as Wintek and almost all far east electronics suppliers) is a Taiwanese company, but like many Taiwanese companies they also operate in China? There isn't much to play there.

Taiwan-China relations are not always what they seem either.

As for Samsung many of their factories are based in China as well, and let's not have any fantasies about worker's safety legislation in South Korea (google "Stop Samsung No More Deaths" to see for yourself)

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Unhappy

Re: I'm probably wrong but...

You do know that Samsung also manufactures in China with their own factories employing more than 20,000 people?

It would seem that their conditions are not up to a high standard too: http://www.chinalaborwatch.org/pro/proshow-177.html

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Re: I'm probably wrong but...

And here I thought China thought Taiwan was part of china.

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Anonymous Coward

Big gotcha

Apple most likely gets HTCs LTE patents cross licensed.

Samsung is screwed just that little bit more in its LTE lawsuit angle.

w00t!

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g e
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Holmes

Re: Big gotcha

Or just as likely, Apple realised they'd have to pay something to HTC for something HTC owned which was being used without permission so decided to settle instead of lose publicly in court.

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Anonymous Coward

@ge - Re: Big gotcha

Nope! you theory doesn't explain sudden switch from Android to Windows phones that HTC is undertaking. They don't pay any money, they don't get any money. They will be allowed to live with the condition that they quit producing Android phones. This is the real game, my friend.

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Re: @ge - Big gotcha

Erm, there's been no sudden switch. HTC started out as a Windows Mobile phone maker and have brought out phones in nearly all Windows handheld generations. Just because they brought out 2 Windows 8 phones (HTC 8S & 8X) doesn't mean they are switching to Windows. Even Samsung joined in the Windows 8 mobile "bandwagon" with the Samsung Activ S phone.

All it means is that they feel Windows 8 to be a viable market to sell some phones, no sudden switching.

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proably

the only reason apple bothered to settle is because they're getting closed in on from all sides. There are only so many lawsuits you can juggle at one time. Why split your resources 10 ways, when you can quickly settle or end court cases and then split the resources only 5 ways.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe a bit of sense at last. Best think would be for Samsung to pay up / agree to license the IP they infringed and then cross license the rest and just design / build the best devices without all this going on. Lawyers win.

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Anonymous Coward

What?! Settle without even considerring if they really infringe or not ?

Besides that, who told you Apple wants to cross license ? No, Apple wants Samsung to quit producing Android phones. Cause that's what the Great Steve in the Sky told, and a God's wish is a God's wish.

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HTC = safer Microsoft from now on.

Obviously they are semi-dropping Android and concentrating on Microsoft.

HTC surely did not have the money to do anything else.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HTC = safer Microsoft from now on.

And no valuable patents to counter-sue. This is what determined their fate.

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Not of interest to Android

If I remember correctly, all of the features that allegedly infringed Apple patents were HTC-specific features such as slide-to-unlock. Google has already coded around them, and had already done so when the case started.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not of interest to Android

Do you really thing Apple would settle so gladly (and at such a lower cost) knowing that HTC will continue producing Android phones ? Think again, my friend.

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Flame

HTC: Respect lost.

This settles it; my new phone will be a Samsung then. I'll leave HTC to their licensing of rectangles from patent trolls; good of them to have made up my mind for me.

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