There is a lot of talk about how much per device HTC is paying Apple in this 10 year cross licensing agreement of their patent portfolios. Many sites are speculating that HTC will have to pay Apple around $6-$8 for each and every Android Smartphone the Taiwanese company sold. Well, it turns out that this was complete bogus.
Mobile Geeks is based in Taipei and we’ve had our ear to the ground on what is really going and listened to an IP lawyer, industry expert and some people close to HTC none of them could confirm anything close to what Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu predicted. In fact most people called him out after we’ve confronted them with his statement.
So what is this agreement really about?
First of all HTC had 2 threatening 4G patents in their portfolio which a US court has already claimed are valid in the US and could have been used against Apple. In a potential trial Apple would have significantly struggled to counter these patents, which would have ultimately led to an import ban of their 4G/LTE devices.
Second, Apple hasn’t been able to gain any significant wins against HTC outside of the US. In fact, they would have faced some serious trials in mainland China and we all know they those courts tend to play by their own set of rules. Settle with HTC or potentially facing losing China.
Third (and this is another very important argument) they both hate Samsung. It’s like cats and dogs with Taiwanese and Koreans and you will still get to know consumers here, that would never ever buy a product from South Korea. Maybe you have to live over to understand that this argument can never be underestimated.
Apple is losing market share because of Samsung and HTC lost even more so.
Apple might have slapped HTC around a little bit since they started the first lawsuits against them back in May but you need to keep in mind that HTC is no thread for Apple in terms of market share. They actually don’t compete against each other!
This was a perfect time for Apple to settle this and gain an ally in their fight against Samsung. HTC doesn’t need to bother about UI workarounds and they have some hefty software method and procedure ammunition to go after Samsung.
To sum it up… HTC because the Apple made bullet with Samsungs name on it!