Apple wins lawsuit against HTC

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Apple won a patent lawsuit against HTC in the U.S. late last week. This is a big deal because Apple has been saying for a while that competitors like HTC have copied their technology instead of creating their own. This case is not completely over yet because HTC will appeal. As is the case almost always in business, this will not mean that HTC will stop making smartphones with the technology. The most likely scenario will be that HTC will have to pay Apple royalties for using the technology on the smartphones it sells. This will increase HTC’s cost, giving Apple an extra price advantage and some more money.

Also the media is not really talking about this, but I think the more significant impact this ruling could have is on the industry as a whole. Apple also has similar cases in progress with Samsung and Motorola. The thing that HTC, Samsung and Motorola have in common is that they all use Google’s Android operating system. This is really an indirect lawsuit against Google. If this HTC ruling is any indication, all Android smartphones may have to pay Apple royalties. Essentially, Apple will make a lot of money when they sell an iPhone and a little bit of money when someone sells an Android phone.

It is way too early to tell how this dynamic will affect the smartphone industry in the future or if all these companies will lose their case against Apple. What this definitely means is that it is “on” between tech giants Apple and Google like never before. I am very curious to see how this story turns out over the next 6-12 months.