Apple vs. Android: The way it may go down

“Apple and HTC are going head-to-head currently over patent infringement, and the former has won its first victory in court where it has been determined that HTC has improperly used Apple’s IP in some of its Android smartphones,” James Kendrick reports for ZDNet. “This has brought Apple and Android to an important crossroad that will likely impact the mobile segment for a long time.”

“HTC is in a very vulnerable position having a court already ruled against it, so it must count on negotiating a license agreement with Apple to keep producing Android phones,” Kendrick reports. However, “Apple is not in the business of licensing its technology, and the company is in such a strong financial position there is really no reason for it to do so. HTC is probably ready to hand over a billion dollars or so to make the Apple situation go away, but this money won’t really impact Apple’s core business. There is a mistaken belief that companies like Apple must license their patented technology to competitors, but that’s not the case. Apple could simply tell HTC no deal, and get injunctions to stop them from producing any Android devices in the future.”

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“If Apple puts HTC out of the Android device business, its next order would likely be to go after Samsung… [by filing] infringement suits for the same Android technology it has successfully defended in court against HTC. That would almost be a slam-dunk,” Kendrick writes. “With the top two Android device makers out of play, the platform would be in serious trouble. That is when Apple might finally go directly after Google for developing the infringing Android platform. However this shakes out it is going to be a bumpy ride for Android device makers. Apple was brilliant to go after them and not Google, as it keeps the platform under a dark cloud for a longer period.”

Read more in the full article here.

45 Comments

  1. “Apple was brilliant to go after them and not Google, as it keeps the platform under a dark cloud for a longer period.”

    yes it does.
    if you start at the top, and something doesn’t go right… you look real bad going after the little guy.

    1. Uhm, HTC is not “small”. They are the most profitable company in Taiwan, more profitable than Foxconn which has over 1M employees. Besides, Google has said they will help HTC in litigation, so they don’t lack for legal help.

      1. HTC is small in comparison to Google .
        Heck if we were to compare portfolio Google has it fingers in all corners of technology .

        Apple should attack Google because iT is better to fight one enemy instead of each handset makers.
        Imagine the cost and the manpower needed .

        So apple just hit google !! Then you can spend more tine developing better products without the need to look over your shoulder everytime !!

        1. Um… HTC’s market cap is around 35 billion (US$) and samsung is around 100 billion. They are HUGE multinational corporations.
          Calling either of these small is inane (as is equivocating them to the small (sometimes 1-5 people in an office) developers that lodsys is attacking)

          1. And what is the point of attacking them?
            Because they use crappy software given free from a much more larger company?
            How do you stop a flooding? By damming the tributaries or the main source?

            HTC and samsung and whoever you look at are smaller than Google.
            Google is the source of the problem.
            Maybe in the future we will see that Google has been paying these handsets maker to USE their software.
            Anti competitive laws like what Intel did……

            1. Sueing a huge multinational like samsung (with an entire legal department on staff) if you think they have wronged you is not scummy. On the other hand what Lodesys is doing is VERY scummy.
              You were attempting to equivocate the two, with your (troll) “For all of us who hate Lodsys for attacking the small coders, we should hold apple to the same standard .” and they are not equivalent.

      1. The amount of damages assessed in a patent or copyright infringement case is not based on the amount of revenue the infringer has derived from his infringing activities but upon the amount of damage the infringer has caused the patent holder in terms of lost sales by way of ‘simulation’ or ‘copying’ of the actual product that confuses the mind of the consumer as to its provenance. In other words Apple will claim damages in the form of liquidated damages for lost sales as well as to prevent the infringer from implementing the infringing parts of the patent into his product.

      2. You must be kidding me right!
        Almost all of Google software do bot give them direct revenue.
        They give free software and service to get more ads and clicks.
        By creating a platform that makes those apps more accessible they earn more!!

  2. I was really surprised that Apple has yet to go after Google in terms of how similar their operating systems are on the surface.

    Apple realizes that one of its big mistakes in the early PC days was not to enforce its intellectual IP. They are not making the same mistake twice.

    They aren’t stopping others from designing an OS or cool device – they just don’t want it to look like a cheap copy of what they spent a ton of money and faced a lot of risk in bringing to market.

    1. Google is like Jabba the Hut. You don’t go after Jabba first without taking down his henchmen. When you’ve killed off the supporting players in the periphery then you go after the big cheese. It helps you build your case as it will have established the raison d’être for copying.

      1. Agreed and let’s not forget that Steve’s buddy Larry Ellison (well, his company Oracle) is already going after Google in what appears to be a slam dunk (it doesn’t get anymore slam dunk than direct copying of code). Apple knows what they’re doing here. All it takes is for one ruling against one Android manufacturer for all of them to turn tail and run.

  3. I avoid using Gaargle services period.

    Surely, Eric T Mole had to sign a NDA while he was sitting on Apple’s board – which he apparently violated big time.

    Greasy, sleazy, pink-cowboy-hatted goober!

    1. i only use google.com for search.
      I run Firefox with NoScript and ghostery.
      I block every other google site with NoScript, and Ghostery stops google from tracking you. like the 10 trackers MDN uses BTW…

      If NoScript was released for Safari, i may switch to Safari.

  4. Android is doomed, PERIOD.

    HTC and Samsung will merely switch to Microsoft Win 7 phone. Their headache will go away as Win 7 phone is actually much nicer than Android. Those that have actually bought it rate their satisfaction far higher than Android users.

    As already noted only theiving GeekScum will miss Android and the opportunity to steal from Android developers.

    Also I have noticed leaked details of Apple’s new and revised iPhone 5. It is an impressive Android killer, and it will be next to impossible for alternate hardware vendors to mimic look, feel and total experience using Android.

    Only the dumbest knuckle dragger or over drugged Bimbo in the USA or China will be unaware of the differences between a real iPhone and Andy’s Dung.

    At this point I can guarantee it!

    1. I pretty much agree with you. Microsoft will be the big winner in all of this, as I’m pretty sure Windows Phone 7 is the only alternative licensed mobile OS. All other mobile OS’s are specific to one manufacturer, aren’t they?

      In fact, don’t expect manufacturers to wait for the final axe to fall on Android before abandoning ship. They’ll be able to tell which way the wind is blowing. Expect them to switch their emphasis from Android to WinPhone as things deteriorate for Android.

      ——RM

  5. I too wonder how Apple will look if it shuts them down. They might be better off licensing the technology. Apple would lose a lot of its “cool factor” if the iPhone was the phone you “had” to buy rather than the phone you wanted to buy.

  6. “There is a mistaken belief that companies like Apple must license their patented technology to competitors, but that’s not the case”

    Yes, if you recall, when Polaroid won their case against Kodak for patent infringement when Kodak made Polaroid like instant cameras, Polaroid didn’t charge a license fee to Kodak, they shut them down!!!

    That was the end of the Kodak instant camera.

  7. Apple is being constant to it’s “no ridiculous clone for market share” policy.

    In 1997, Steve Jobs addressed the WWDC as a closing keynote speaker. This was right after the sale of NExT computer to Apple Computer and before Mac OS X was unveiled.

    There were a closing question section and developers asked a wide range of questions. Several were about the decision to shut down the Macintosh clone business as it was circa 1996. Paraphrasing Steve’s final words, “It does not make since for Apple to do all the spending on research and design R&D, plus marketing, then allow third party manufactures to get rich by stealing the top third of their profits.”

    With iOS devices we have a similar situation today. So far no device manufacturer has come out with a compelling competitor to Apple’s iDevices that is not a blatant copy.

    Paraphrasing the other thing Steve said in that session, “It may make sense to license the Mac OS at some point, but licensing in such a manner that Apple recovers it’s development costs and profits from successful adoption in the market. Until third parties are willing to compensate Apple for it’s work, it is ridiculous to expect Apple to allow them to profit from our work.”

    So today we have Apple giving notice to on-shore and off-shore manufactures that they are serious about that stand. Apple is not giving away it ‘s hard work for free.

    As for losing respect… really?! Would/Do you respect your employer for firing you because they would not defend the market your good work created? While this has been the strategy of one political movement in the USA, that does not make it a viable or respected practice. I believe most working middle-class would at least ask the question, “Can I say not?!”

    For extra credit, find the Steve Jobs WWDC Closing Keynote and watch it. Steve laid out a viable and visionary plan in answering questions. It’s amazing how well Apple has executed that plan, and how well the market has received it.

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