The Economic Times of India reports that HTC may consider buying Nokia’s Chennai plant if it is put up for sale to a third party other than Microsoft.
The plant may be excluded from the sale of Nokia’s handset division to Microsoft due to an ongoing dispute between Nokia and the Indian Inland Revenue Service.
"I am happy to look into it, because the overall preparation, exploration hinges upon if it will serve consumers better. If that (plant) will do that (service consumers better), then we would be happy to look further into it," Chialin Chang, HTC Chief Financial Officer, told ET.
A person with knowledge of the matter said the Chennai plant may be fast losing its importance to Microsoft, given the ongoing tax issues.
"It makes no sense for Microsoft to keep the factory as they can easily outsource the entire production to China, just like Apple does, and successfully at that", the person said.
Nokia has reportedly already shifted much of the production of its popular Asha series featurephones to Vietnam.
HTC said the Indian market was “very crucial” for HTC and that they were exploring lower price points.
HTC never gave up on Windows Phone eco-system. Even though the didn’t release any new device in recent past, they maintained the status that they are still part of Windows Phone platform. Today, WPDang reported that HTC is working on a flagship Windows Phone device based on the recently launched HTC One M8 Android device. Even though there was no mention of date regarding its release, we can expect such device in the future.
5.0 inches, Full HD LCD3 Display,1080x1920p Resolution. 2GB RAM, 2.3GHz Quad-core, Snapdragon 801 Processor, 128GB microSD Support, Android 4.4.2, Sense 6.0 UI, 160 g, 2600 mAh Battery, All-metal Unibody, Duo Ultrapixel Camera, Built-in Amplifier Speakers, IR Blaster.
Source: WPDang via: WPD
HTC is not in the best financial position, so the company could be forgiven for doubling down on handsets running the most popular mobile operating system.
At Mobile World Congress they announced the Desire 816, a plastic version of the flagship HTC One.
They are however not giving up on Windows Phone after all, with HTC America President Jason Mackenzie telling Re/code in an interview in Barcelona that more Windows Phone handsets are on the way.
“We’ll continue to partner with Microsoft,” Mackenzie said.
He told Re/code to expect new models, but didn’t offer any specifics on timing.
Are any of our readers still HTC Windows Phone fans? Let us know below.
At Mobile World Congress, Samsung yesterday announced their next flagship device Galaxy S5. Samsung’s main competitors Nokia and HTC mocked Samsung’s announcement on Twitter.
HTC’s Twitter account tweeted: “Buyer’s remorse: Coming soon to S5 owners. March 25.” pointing to HTC’s upcoming flagship announcement next month.
Nokia on its part tweeted, “Stand out from the crowd! #MWC14 #UNPACKED. NOT THE SAMESUNG ;)” pointing to the Lumia/Windows Phone differentiation among the crowd.
Even though both these are pretty decent attempts in making fun on Galaxy S5, I liked something else. Find it out after the break.
For the usage of Play Store and Android, Google signs the Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA) with OEMs like Samsung, HTC, LG, etc,. We have known very little about this agreement Google signs with OEMs. Today, Google’s Mobile Application Distribution Agreement with HTC got leaked on the internet and it reveals lots of strict policies that Google demand from OEMs. For example, you need to install all Google apps, Google Search should be the default search provider, Google’s Network Location Provider service must be installed by default and more.
To distribute Google’s mobile applications—Google Search, Maps, YouTube, Calendar, Gmail, Talk, the Play app store, and more—a phone manufacturer needs a license from Google, called a Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA). Key provisions of the MADA:
“Devices may only be distributed if all Google Applications [listed elsewhere in the agreement] … are pre-installed on the Device.” See MADA section 2.1.
The phone manufacturer must “preload all Google Applications approved in the applicable Territory … on each device.” See MADA section 3.4(1).
The phone manufacturer must place “Google’s Search and the Android Market Client icon [Google Play] … at least on the panel immediately adjacent to the Default Home Screen,” with “all other Google Applications … no more than one level below the Phone Top.” See MADA Section 3.4(2)-(3).
The phone manufacturer must set “Google Search … as the default search provider for all Web search access points.” See MADA Section 3.4(4).
Google’s Network Location Provider service must be preloaded and the default. See MADA Section 3.8(c).
EC is ending its investigation on Google’s unfair search practices in the coming months. I guess Google’s Android practices may be the next one for European Commission to investigate. Read more about it from the link below.
In a press release Nokia announced HTC and the Nordic company have agreed to settle all outstanding patent litigation and enter into a a patent and technology collaboration agreement.
While some are painting the announcement as a peace settlement, the truth is that it is more of a capitulation on HTC’s part, as noted by the fact that HTC will be paying Nokia undisclosed fees.
HTC will also be sharing its own LTE patents with Nokia, which should help ensure Nokia’s Advanced Technology division remains relevant in the years to come. The full terms of the agreement are confidential.
“We are very pleased to have reached a settlement and collaboration agreement with HTC, which is a long standing licensee for Nokia’s standards essential patents,” said Paul Melin, chief intellectual property officer at Nokia. “This agreement validates Nokia’s implementation patents and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities.”
Nokia has already won regular patent royalty payments from Apple, and HTC’s eventual surrender was inevitable, after losing 4 infringement cases in a row against Nokia.
“Nokia has one of the most preeminent patent portfolios in the industry,” said Grace Lei, General Counsel of HTC. “As an industry pioneer in smartphones with a strong patent portfolio, HTC is pleased to come to this agreement, which will enable us to stay focused on innovation for consumers.”
The companies also agreed to explore future technology collaboration opportunities.
See the press release here.
We reported recently on Nokia’s string of patent infringement wins against HTC, noting that it seemed time for HTC to take out a royalty bearing license, just like Apple did 3 years ago.
It seems HTC has decided to go a harder route, and in a filing at the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Saturday said:
“We are investigating modifications for our handsets to remove this redundant technology.”
HTC anticipates the change will cause minimal disruption to their customers.
Of course the real problem with trying to design around Nokia’s patents is the depth of Nokia’s portfolio, making it rather likely something else will pop up that HTC is infringing on.
Our message to HTC – you might as well pay the piper.
Via ZDNet.com, thanks Tom for the tip.
While the twitter battles Nokia has been engaging in recently are of course somewhat childish, they remain rather entertaining, and Nokia had a rather good one recently when HTC Russia asked their followers to offer suggestions on how to use their smartphones in the deep cold of the Russian winter.
It did not take Nokia Russia long to quip that this did not represent any problem at all, if you had the right phone.
Being the Russian winter, there was no need to apply cold water to the burn.
Few days back, we reported that Nokia was handed another injunction win against HTC in Germany related to Android devices. So far, HTC was found to infringe seven Nokia patents in various courts across the world. In response to that, Nokia has provided the following statement to HTC and even advised HTC on their New Year’s resolution for 2014.
Read the full statement below,
“Nokia is pleased that the Regional Court in Munich, Germany has today ruled that any HTC product using Bluetooth or NFC connections infringes Nokia’s patent EP 1 148 681, which covers the transfer of network resource information between mobile devices.
This judgment enables Nokia to enforce an injunction against the import and sale of all infringing HTC products in Germany, as well as to obtain damages for past infringement. This follows another ruling from the same court ten days earlier, which found that HTC products infringed Nokia’s USB patent EP 1 246 071 and granting Nokia right to an injunction and damages against products infringing that patent.
Nokia began its actions against HTC in 2012, with the aim of ending HTC’s unauthorised use of Nokia’s proprietary innovations and has asserted more than 50 patents against HTC. During 2013, Nokia believes it has demonstrated beyond doubt the extent to which HTC has been free riding on Nokia technologies, with HTC found to infringe seven Nokia patents in venues including the Regional Courts in Mannheim and Munich, Germany, the UK High Court and the US International Trade Commission. HTC’s first New Year’s resolution for 2014 should be to stop this free riding and compete fairly in the market.”
Source: FOSS Patents
Thanks to Karthick for the heads up!
Nokia has got its New Year gift in the form of injunction win against HTC in Germany. HTC is one of the few companies that are still fighting in court to protect their Android devices from patent infringement. Motorola which is now owned by Google is struggling in a similar case against Microsoft regarding Android patents. Nokia’s this injunction win against HTC involves all of HTC products and the patent is related to method of transferring information between devices using Bluetooth or NFC.
From FOSS Patents,
The New Year’s Eve fireworks kicked off a day early at the Munich I Regional Court, where Judge Dr. Matthias Zigann just handed Nokia a Germany-wide patent injunction against all HTC Android devices (including the One series) that infringe EP1148681 on a “method for transferring resource information” by allowing end users to connect two HTC devices directly over NFC or Bluetooth (but not over WiFi or the Internet) to transfer resource information such as a URL. The patent is not standard-essential, meaning that Nokia does not have any FRAND licensing obligations.
Source: FOSS Patents
Fosspatents reports that after Nokia has succeeded in obtaining an injunction against HTC’s smartphones in UK (which was largely stayed pending an appeal) Nokia was bringing the same case with the same patent library to court in France.
In a statement Nokia said:
"Nokia was pleased that the UK High Court imposed an injunction on certain HTC products which it found in October to infringe a Nokia patent. The UK Court of Appeal has stayed the injunction until a full appeal hearing next year and Nokia welcomes the Court’s invitation for the parties to expedite this. It is unfortunate that the stay means that HTC can continue to benefit from its unauthorized and uncompensated use of Nokia innovations. We look forward to the Court of Appeal confirming that the patent is valid and infringed, lifting the stay on the injunction and awarding Nokia financial compensation for HTC’s infringement.
The same patent comes to trial in Dusseldorf, Germany next month and is also in suit in Paris, France; Rome, Italy[;] and its US counterpart is in Nokia’s second complaint against HTC at the US International Trade Commission. Nokia began its actions against HTC in 2012, with the aim of ending HTC’s unauthorised use of Nokia’s proprietary innovations and has asserted more than 50 patents against HTC in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, UK and US. During 2013, HTC has been found to infringe Nokia patents in venues including the Regional Court in Mannheim, Germany, the UK High Court and the US International Trade Commission."
Nokia is currently suing HTC in 7 countries, as the Taiwanese company continues to refuse to take out a royalty-bearing license for Nokia’s non-standard-essential patents.
Bloomberg reports that Nokia has won its patent infringement case against HTC in UK, resulting in the HTC One Mini being banned from the 6th December.
The HTC One is affected by the same patent, but as banning that device would cause “considerable” damage to HTC, that injunction bas been delayed by the court to allow HTC time to appeal the ruling.
Nokia is not satisfied with just the ban, but “… is also claiming financial compensation for the infringement of this patent,” the company said in a prepared statement.
Nokia settled a similar infringement case with Apple in April 2011 and was then paid regular royalties for its use.
While Microsoft is set to purchase Nokia’s handset division, the intellectual property part will remain with Nokia, and with its Here Maps and telecom infrastructure arm will be key to the continuing profitability of the company.
The Financial Times reports that Nokia has won a major patent fight against HTC in UK and said it would seek an injunction against the import and sale of HTC’s products in Britain.
The patents were related to a technology used to transmit voice and text messages and is just one of several similar cases against HTC in Germany, Italy, Japan and the US.
Nokia said “Today’s judgment is a significant development in our dispute with HTC,” while HTC said “Naturally HTC is disappointed by the decision that the UK court has reached in this case and we will be seeking to appeal the finding immediately.”
After Nokia divests itself of its handset division it will retain control of its patents, and its litigation is expected to intensify.
Analysts at Berenberg said that it had been a “masterstroke” of the Nokia board to maintain its patent assets. The bank said that net royalty income this year will be about $600m but forecast that this could rise sharply after Nokia forge licensing deals with Samsung and other OEMs.
Read more at the Financial Times here.