Did Microsoft Just Step In To Help HTC Fight Apple? Or Are They After Android Too?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Alchematron, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. Alchematron macrumors 65816

    Alchematron

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    Maui Hawaii
    #1
    Did Microsoft Just Step In To Help HTC Fight Apple? Or Are They After Android Too?

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/28/microsoft-htc-android-apple-patents

    Whoa.

    As you may have heard, Apple filed a massive lawsuit against phone-maker HTC nearly two months ago. Apple is alleging that HTC is infringing on over 20 of its iPhone patents. While HTC makes phones for a number of partners, it’s pretty clear that this is Apple*going after Google’s Android platform indirectly. And now Google may have just found an unlikely ally in this fight: Microsoft.

    [Update below with a new interesting twist.]
    Yes, the software giant, which makes the rival Windows Mobile (and soon Windows Phone 7) phone software has announced a deal with HTC that allows them to license their patented technology. On the face of it, this deal may make some sense since HTC also makes Windows Mobile phones. But the key to this is right there in Microsoft’s statement on the matter, “Microsoft Corp. and HTC Corp. have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for HTC’s mobile phones running the Android mobile platform” (Emphasis mine)

    So yes, this seems to be Microsoft lending its (undoubtedly massive) arsenal of patents to help HTC and Google combat Apple (though, naturally, the rationale behind the deal — and Apple — are never named). It’s hard to imagine what else this could possibly be about [more below]. It’s also hard to figure out why Microsoft sent this release out at 11:30 at night.

    While Microsoft undoubtedly gets some pleasure out of helping someone else fight its longtime rival, Apple, these days, the company seems much more at odds with Google. And yet, they’re helping them out here (yes, again, indirectly). Of course, this undoubtedly makes sense economically for Microsoft — they’ll receive royalties from HTC, presumably for each device sold. Yes, Android devices. The release also notes that the “agreement expands HTC’s long-standing business relationship with Microsoft.“

    This past month, HTC was thought to be the leading candidate to buy Palm — if for no other reason than their mobile patents that may help in the Apple suit. But last week, HTC reportedly dropped its bid for Palm. Perhaps the negotiation of this deal made that much easier to do.

    Update: And this just got much more complicated. Microsoft is now apparently claiming that Android is infringing on its patents, CNET reports. So this deal may have more to do with HTC covering itself if Microsoft decides to go after Google. But it’s hard to know for sure at this point.

    As Ina Fried reports:
    Microsoft has taken the position, according to those close to the company, that Android infringes on the company’s patented technology and that the infringement applies broadly in areas ranging from the user interface to the underlying operating system.

    So Microsoft, with this deal, may be both threatening and inadvertently helping Google (if their patents help HTC against the Apple suit). Very interesting, to say the least.
     
  2. Alchematron thread starter macrumors 65816

    Alchematron

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    Maui Hawaii
    #2
    HTC Evo 4G Price Increase, Most Expensive Android Yet?

    http://www.ozcarguide.com/technology/cellphone-pda/2899-htc-evo-4g-price-android

    Yesterday, Microsoft made their deal with HTC official by announcing the Taiwanese company will pay them royalties for every Android built.

    The news comes shortly after allegations by Microsoft that Google's Android platform was infringing on a number of their patents. Obviously to not get pulled into any further litigation and possibly delays for the release of the their latest Android, the HTC Evo 4G, the phone maker may have decided it was better to pay Microsoft the licensing fees to use Google's Android platform and avoid any repercussions in the future.

    What this means for HTC Evo 4G prices?

    The Sprint HTC Evo 4G, which is expected to release sometime in June, is equipped with the free Android OS. Now that HTC will be required to pay royalties for every Android built there is no doubt it will cost them more to manufacture the smartphone. With Microsoft technologies priced somewhere on the higher end of the scale, and Sprint's reported $865 million losses and 75,000 customers disbanding this quarter alone, we can only see HTC or the customer left to absorb the increased cost.

    OZCAR says: The situation at HTC isn't too good either. Two days ago we reported on the possibility that they may need to pay Klausner Technologies royalties for infringing on their patents. Furthermore, the HTC Apple lawsuit is still in progress. So it seems quite plausible that consumers may be left to fork out the extra cash for buying a HTC branded Android phone.
     
  3. corriewf macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    #3
    I don't think it will effect the EVO anymore than it will effect the Incredible.
     

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