This is news! For the first time, Apple has settled with an android mobile manufacturer. First the iPad mini and now this, I hope Steve Jobs is not shedding a tear wherever he is.
Anyways, the facts first-
- It is a 10 year agreement. So, we can sigh a breath of relief for 10 years.
- The agreement is for all the current and future patents so there is no fear of anymore infringement game among these two.
- All the lawsuits everywhere are being dropped. That is a lot of lawsuits and a lot of money that will be saved by the two companies. Unfortunate news for their law firms.
- The actual terms of the settlement have not been released but I feel that it might include a hefty sum from HTC to Apple which means that there might be a slight hike in HTC price unless it is offset by the lack of litigations.
- Peter Chou (CEO, HTC)- “HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation.”
- Tim Cook (CEO, Apple)- “We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC. We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.”
This was a joint statement, so I am pretty sure both sides know that the war is over. Joke aside though; it is welcoming news for us consumers and definitely for HTC.
HTC is not a major Android player anymore. Yes, it makes great phones and of course it had a good run but recently it is seeing a slump, despite having produced the HTC One series which people like. Unfortunately for them though Samsung has attained a somewhat status Nokia held in its heydays and with Galaxy S3, it seems they are not ready to give that position to anybody else. Now, at least one burden is off HTC’s shoulder and they can without fear of any patent work towards making awesome phones.
I am more curious about its impact on other litigations. Samsung and Motorola are still in the fight. Where I feel that Motorola might not feel the heat much (due to its huge patent archive and Google’s backing) Samsung will not have such excuses. The real question is whether Apple did it to reduce its opponent to focus on one (read Samsung) or it actually has sobered down.
One thing though, dropping the case, the new iPad mini and increasing the size of iPhone: all three things are some things that Jobs would never have done. I do wonder how he would have handled the current situation. Anyways, Jobs is the here and Tim Cook is handling as well as anyone can.
To be honest I welcome all these changes. 3.5 inch was getting older and smaller. I have recently started using my 4.3 inch Xperia S and after this using Galaxy Ace’s 3.5 inch (same size as iPhone of the old) was quite a disappointment.
Also, the 7 inch size is becoming a necessity. People are opting for it and more importantly I think people do need an option for that from Apple itself. What I mean is that even if you are an Apple fanboy, you should have an option between a 4 inch iPhone and a 9.7 inch iPad. There was a void and though I wish the screen was a bit more smaller (a 7.3 or a 6.9 maybe) I still think that it is a move in the right direction.
Finally, leaving HTC alone shows a move in the right direction by Apple (at least from the consumer point of view). I have no clue how will it pan out for Apple in the future but for right now as a consumer this is immensely beneficial for us as the money that was being squandered in litigations (and was taken from the buyers) will go in more research hopefully.
Of course, the mother of all battles is still on with Samsung and Google on one side and Apple on other. Maybe this deal was to focus on them only. Whatever be the reason, I feel that Apple is making a few decisions I like, though I do not know, if they will be in the best interest of the company itself.