HTC To Apple: First!


Until now, HTC has been mum about the whole Apple patent lawsuit. First Google had their back, then the Apple vs. Google thing heated up, but now we finally hear what HTC has to say and its a beautiful thing. They basically look the world in the eye and say, “Listen, we are innovators. We have been the first on many innovations in the past, we’ll continue to be first on many innovations in the future, and you bozos aren’t going to use scare tactics and legal shenanigans to prevent our innovations from reaching the masses.”

Of course that quote comes from me, but that’s my opinion of the press release’s stance. You can read the full press release below and provide your own opinion:


Seattle – March 17, 2010 – HTC Corporation today outlined its disagreement with Apple’s legal actions and reiterated its commitment to creating a portfolio of innovative smartphones that gives consumers a variety of choices. Founded in 1997 with a passion for innovation and a vision for how smartphones would change people’s lives, HTC has continually driven this vision by consistently introducing award-winning smartphones with U.S. mobile operators.

“HTC disagrees with Apple’s actions and will fully defend itself. HTC strongly advocates intellectual property protection and will continue to respect other innovators and their technologies as we have always done, but we will continue to embrace competition through our own innovation as a healthy way for consumers to get the best mobile experience possible,” said Peter Chou, chief executive officer, HTC Corporation. “From day one, HTC has focused on creating cutting-edge innovations that deliver unique value for people looking for a smartphone. In 1999 we started designing the XDA[i] and T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition[ii], our first touch-screen smartphones, and they both shipped in 2002 with more than 50 additional HTC smartphone models shipping since then.”

The industry has recognized HTC’s contributions through a variety of awards including Fast Company’s 2010 Top 50 Most Innovative Companies and MIT Technology Review’s 2010 50 Most Innovative Companies. The GSMA also recently awarded the HTC Hero as the “Best Phone of 2009.” Some of HTC’s technology firsts include:

* First Windows PDA (1998)
* First Windows Phone (June 2002)
* First 3G CDMA EVDO smartphone (October 2005)
* First gesture-based smartphone (June 2007)
* First Google Android smartphone (October 2008)
* First 4G WIMAX smartphone (November 2008)

The T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition by HTC was the first 3.5-inch color touch screen smartphone in the United States in 2002

In 2009, HTC launched its branded user experience, HTC Sense. HTC Sense is focused on putting people at the center by making phones work in a more simple and natural way. This experience was fundamentally based on listening and observing how people live and communicate.

“HTC has always taken a partnership-oriented, collaborative approach to business. This has led to long-standing strategic partnerships with the top software, Internet and wireless technology companies in the industry as well as the top U.S., European and Asian mobile operators,” said Jason Mackenzie, vice president of HTC America. “It is through these relationships that we have been able to deliver the world’s most diverse series of smartphones to an even more diverse group of people around the world, recognizing that customers have very different needs.”

For more information on HTC’s history of innovation, please visit:

I like that response… classy. Or should I say, “Quietly Brilliant”? Kind of ironic since their former tagline was “Innovation” and now they’re being sued for allegedly borrowing technology instead of innovating themselves, so they issue a press release reminding everyone how innovative they are. I don’t know – kind of funny if you ask me.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. awesome. i love it.

  2. What I want to see is if anything comes up about the actual history of Android. The company was bought by Google in like 2005 and everything about it and its time under Google seemed to be quiet until Android was announced. In that article about Jobs talking to Google execs it mentions the Google guys stating that some things were in Android first. The company was in existence almost 2 years before Google bought them. So I’m wondering if some prior art if not patents will be thrown back at Apple.

  3. yay htc! 26 years ago apple were the leftfield choice, how times change..

    just imagine white headphones in all the grey peoples ears.. >D

  4. @Phil
    Well, HTC are the ones being sued, but Google could always be nice and chip in with proof of prior technology. That would be fairly nice.

  5. Love it.. take that Apple up the @$$..!!!!!!

  6. Good response, but won’t hold a candle in court. They have to knock every one of Apple’s patents out or Apple will have HTC by the, um, trackballs.

  7. Saw this a couple days ago. Its actually a real burn for them to say “The T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition by HTC was the first 3.5-inch color touch screen smartphone in the United States in 2002”, calling out the iPhone which has a 3.5 inch touchscreen…..

  8. The actual patent-based litigation will be far too arcane for any media or normal-humans to make real sense of it, just like the patents and patent system itself with respect to computer software. What you see here is a press release to inform the general public that just because *their* first smartphone was an iPhone, it’s not *the* first smartphone.

    The good news it that Apple didn’t invent a lot of the stuff they patented…they just patented it. For an example, go do a search for “1985 Multitouch” on youtube. From what I can tell Apple added the verbiage “… on an iPhone!” to a bunch of existing ideas and called it a stroke of genius.

    I’m also very curious to see what IP Google has from the many years of pre-iPhone development of Android. I’ve had quite a few people tell me that Android stole “X” from the iPhone…the average user thinks that Android development started on June 30, 2007. Very few people understand exactly how old some of these ideas really are…we’re just seeing practical consumer implementations now because it’s now possible to make and sell them for consumer-friendly prices.

  9. Either way HTC will continue to make smart phones.

  10. @tliebeck
    Kudos, i agree

    Intersting stuff eh apple…so your invetions are not yours at all.

  12. At night…if you listen carefully….you can hear the apple fanboys….sobbing gently.

  13. @tliebeck
    THE tliebeck of Echo/Echo2/Echo3? If so anything Echo related happening on Android?

  14. Good response by HTC. This was a good reminder that the technology Apple ‘patented’ was already in the public domain and in use. Basically the patents aren’t worth the paper they were issued on.

  15. ‘From what I can tell Apple added the verbiage “… on an iPhone!” to a bunch of existing ideas and called it a stroke of genius.’

    LOL so true. Apple did release an innovative product as a whole, but taken individually all these patent complaints sound so frivolous.

  16. I was just talking to an iFan today that QUICKLY changed the subject when I mentioned that its possible that Android pre-dates the iPhone. He really didn’t want to hear anything like that and it was obvious.

    @Ulvhamne – I doubt Google will sit aside and let HTC loose or have to make a damning settlement. That will hurt them as Android will look toxic to other OEM’s. If things start to look bad for HTC I imagine Google will step in.

    @tliebeck – I agree. They did literally just take stuff and append “on and iPhone” to get it patented. I think it shows just how “innovative” the iPhone is to have Jobs hitting the panic button because the features so easily show up in other phones. If you’ve really done some innovative work its not usually that easy to “copy”.

  17. Go get ’em, tiger!

  18. yea..suck on that steve jobs!!!

  19. Well Steve Blow-Job’s head probably just exploded.

  20. @ chad

    “They have to knock every one of Apple’s patents out or Apple will have HTC by the, um, trackballs.”

    LOL……i like that.

  21. @Chad, and I bet they will, or at least Google will help with most of the “patents” too.

  22. There’s a new sheriff in town apple get used to it bitches.

  23. FIrst smartphone to be sued by apple?

  24. AHHAAH so they predate the iPhone by a few years with their first Smartphone. This is just precious! AHAHAHAH I had no idea! I seriously think the industry would be better off with Apple gone.

  25. Remember that IF Apple would win this lawsuite, It’ll not affect the European market(or any other market doesn’t recognize software patents). It’s “only” U.S. consumers who will see the downside of an Apple win.

  26. @Charles
    Yeah thats what sucks about the whole stupid thing…however it comes out if it goes Apple’s direction the only ones getting screwed are the US consumer.

    Apple’s new slogan should be “killing the progress of technology” as they slowly choke out competitors with patents for crap they didn’t think of first nor were the first to implement it.

  27. I bought my android phone 3 months ago and thought the iPhone was better until I started doing research. Android is a better system. So I’m so freaking excited about all the attention android is getting. People are starting to realise android is so freakin close to beating Apple. And also what if android wins instead of apple? Possibly even countersue? Idk. I’m just a fandroid

  28. OK, I think I just saw something here…
    It’s been noted that Apple took existing ideas/technologies and was able to obtain the patent(s) by adding the term, “on an iPhone.”
    If that’s the case and the patents read verbatim that these implemtations are on an iPhone (which is the sticking point) than Apple would only be able to sue for infringement if HTC was installing an infringing process/application/idea/whatever-else “on an iPhone”…

  29. implementations* tuckin fypos

  30. well how far would technologies be if we would drive INNOVATIONS forward and stop suing the firms that we are scared of ;)
    Funny everytime a company is scared of another, they start suing. And the funny thing is: they usually win and thus we consumers have to feel the pain. Well I would say lets not buy apple-products anymore but that would be doing the same as to what I just expressed myself against.
    I am still amazed by the iPhone: How could everyone love it knowing that a couple of *not* so useful things like cut-copy-paste were missing. Well I guess marketing is everything. But this is a side note besides the point.
    But now I am excited. This “war” will be some crazy thing, no doubt. Hopefully Google will back HTC up big time. I would love for apple to run against a wall again… They shoul not disappear but you get the idea.

  31. Actually, it’s a good bet that Apple got at least some of their patents, not because they added “on an iPhone” to the basic “invention”, but because the existing prior art had not been patented, period, and the PTO is notoriously bad at researching prior at that’s outside the scope of the US patent system.

    Apple, like many big companies, isn’t patenting inventions. Rather, they have a team of lawyers who pour over every product they introduction, gaming the patent system for anything they can get through the system. This works out particularly well because it de-couples the inventor from the patent application, which also helps limit the amount of prior art called out in the patent application. The inventor, of course, is required to call out any and all prior art of which they’re aware. But in practice, this isn’t done well, and this as a rule isn’t well enforced by the PTO.

  32. Man, you guys are all crazy. I love Android as much as the next guy. I own a G1, Magic, Cliq, Hero, and a Nexus One and love them all. Hell, I even made my fiance buy an Android phone.

    But FOR GOD SAKES stop bashing Apple!!!! Sure the patent lawsuit is a total dick move, and yes Steve Jobs is a jack ass. Hey, guess what, they make a decent phone, and more importantly they make some of the best consumer electronics on the market. Outside of my TV and my phone… I’d buy Apple before any other brand on the market.
    Windows/PC blows.
    I’d seriously take an iPod classic over 90% of the PMPs on the market today.
    Apples networking hardware is incredible.
    Even their monitors are decent, I mean come on!!

    I’m sure you’ll all pass this off as “fanboyism”, but it’s not and deep down you all know it. HTC has made some real fucking turds over the years also, you know. It took AT&T 3 8525’s to get me one that worked, and don’t even get me started on that piece of shit HTC Shadow!

    You don’t like something Jobs is doing, or something about the iPhone that’s one thing. But don’t act like a child and try to make Apple out to be some sort of crazy evil empire, it’s no more of an evil empire than our precious Google is. You guys realize that this is all about BUSINESS right? Both Google and Apple want your money equally as bad and will do equally as shady shit to get it.

    Now when HTC and Google team up and produce something as bad ass as a 17inch MacBook Pro… you can all tell me “I told you so”. Until that day comes, remember… it’s a phone. Lighten up.

  33. “First Windows PDA (1998)” doesn’t count for much as it was Apple that invented the PDA with Newton in ’91 and the CEO of Apple coined the term ‘PDA’. The rest of ‘firsts’ are dubious too.

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