Nov 12, 2012

A thermonuclear settlement?

Thermo nuclear wars have never been fought in the real world, at least not yet, thanks! But one can guess that if such a war starts, meek settlement is not one of the options on the table..

So Apple settles with HTC. What gives? Some are trying to spin this as yet another Apple 'victory' and a defeat for HTC and by definition, Google.

Facts speak otherwise.

  • HTC CFO was defiant even a few weeks earlier, after the Samsung verdict. Which means the settlement has come on terms it can live with, simply a sort of avoid-nuisance payment. 
  • The press release talks of negligible financial impact. Obviously it must be a trivial per-device $, not some huge one time bill which HTC will have to report to shareholders.
  • Given the insensitivity, greed, arrogance and "take no prisoners, everyone walks the plank" approach shown by Apple consistently throughout its history, it is obvious, it was not exactly winning this case anyway or it would not have settled. Far from that, it can be safely guessed that some HTC patents are worth a lot more than assumed.
  • It is ridiculous to assume that Apple is helping HTC defeat Samsung. There are better ways to go about that and it does not help anyway. Not many are going to line up in queue for the next HTC device, like they do for Galaxy Note 2, just because Apple settles with it.
  • It is also silly to assume that Google is not behind this. They work closely with HTC for years now, and Google has been reportedly advising HTC on this matter
  • It is also silly to compare this with Nokia - Apple settlement - Apple paid $$$ there. Or with Microsoft - Barnes+Noble settlement as some anti-google shills are trying to spin. Again, Microsoft paid big money there and perhaps took some small amount (again, per-device) back as 'license'. Give me $600m, I will sign a sweeter patent licensing deal with Microsoft as announcement-ware.
It can also be argued that this only strengthens Google and the Android community, including Samsung. Because it weakens the thermonuclear blackmail case. You don't have Don Corleone issuing threats and then announcing such settlements. Unless he is not a Don in the first place..

Updated on 20 Nov:

Our suspicions have turned out correct - HTC CEO has clarified that $6-8 is ridiculous and outrageous. Which means Apple is getting FAR LESS. Which practically means it is getting nothing.

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