The Apple versus HTC lawsuit took a small step forward on March 17, with HTC
releasing a public response to Apple's allegations that HTC smartphones infringe on patents related to the iPhone's interface, architecture and hardware.
"HTC disagrees with Apple's actions and will fully defend itself," HTC CEO Peter Chou said in a statement. "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."
Chou then went on to list HTC milestones over the years, stating:
""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. The O2 XDA by HTC was the first 3.5-inch color touch screen smartphone in the world in 2002, and 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. Our first touch-screen smartphones [shipped] in 2002, with more than 50 additional HTC smartphone models shipping since then.""
Apple shipped its first iPhone on June 29, 2007-and sold a million units in the first 74 days.
In the Apple lawsuit, which was filed March 2 with the U.S. International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court in Delaware, CEO Steve Jobs said Apple can't "sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions." He continued, "We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours."
The suit coincides with HTC's growing adoption of smartphones running Android, the Google mobile operating system, which is quickly gaining market share. In order to continue the sales momentum that HTC has successfully built, analysts have suggested that HTC move to speedily handle the Apple suit, saying it could slow HTC's ability to do business with partners in the United States.
The HTC statement additionally listed the manufacturer's contributions to the market and "technology firsts," which it said included the first Windows PDA, in 1998, the first Windows phone, in June 2002, the first gesture-based smartphone, in June 2007, the first Google Android smartphone, in October 2008, and the first 4G WiMax smartphone, in November 2008.
"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," Jason Mackenzie, vice president of HTC America, added to the statement.
"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," Mackenzie said.
Current HTC products in the United States include the Google-branded Nexus One, the T-Mobile-branded MyTouch 3G and the HTC Desire and Legend.