Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, formerly CEO, is pouring a good amount of oil on the fire between Apple and HTC. He claims that the lawsuits against HTC and any other Android smart phone manufacturer have no basis. According to him, Apple premised them on pure jealousy and lack of innovation in the iPhone. Schmidt states in his own words:
The big news in the past year has been the explosion of Google Android handsets and this means our competitors are responding. Because they are not responding with innovation, they’re responding with lawsuits. We have not done anything wrong and these lawsuits are just inspired by our success.
Successful is certainly an appropriate adjective to describe the Android mobile operating system. It debuted on the T-Mobile G1 in the fall of 2008, but it did not become a hit among consumers until the fall of 2009, with the release of the Motorola Droid with Android 2.0. People began realizing that this was an OS worthy enough to give iOS a run for its money. Perhaps it has in terms of market share, but no single Android device has come close to claiming as much share as the iPhone.
As for Apple’s side, are they really filing these lawsuits in a fit of rage for Android’s success? That is really a question for any one person to answer. Everyone takes different sides. Recently, however, Apple claimed victory in court for a small part of the lawsuit against HTC. The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that HTC is indeed infringing on two of the ten patents Apple filed for in 2010. If this smart phone saga continues in Apple’s favor, HTC would face the possibility of ITC banning its products in the U.S. The company is quite obviously appealing this initial decision.
Eric Schmidt might have stepped in to defend the Android family in the hopes that it would weaken Apple’s claims. As for their “lack of innovation”, the company is releasing iOS 5 in the fall, which adds new features like a notification center that admittedly takes cues from Android. These types of situations go back and forth between competitors all the time though. With Apple winning the first round of the battle, it seems like Eric Schmidt is trying to help HTC carry heavy luggage up a hill.