Over the weekend, HTC announced that it has licensed several Apple patents for 10 years, and will pay the company an undisclosed amount per phone sold to use several features in its Android devices. The agreement came after a several year patent battle between the two companies, in which Apple accused HTC of patent infringement and even managed to delay the release of its One series devices in the U.S. through an import ban. While the statement also referred to “cross-licensing” of a select number of HTC patents, likely pertaining to LTE technologies, Apple is expected to be the ultimate winner in this deal.
With the licensing settlement announced, it could set the bar for other Android OEMs, many of whom do not have the deep pockets of Samsung. So just how high is that bar? HTC is likely paying Apple between $6 and $8 per phone sold, which could account for nearly $200 million in revenue for Cupertino if HTC’s projection of 30 million devices sold next year is accurate. The Taiwanese company is already paying Microsoft some $5 per handset sold, but HTC says neither deal will have a material impact on its finances. HTC’s revenue for 2012 is expected to be roughly $10 billion CDN, though its last few quarters have seen a precipitous drop in net profit.
Whether other companies will follow suit remains to be seen, but this is unlikely to be the last time we hear about Apple’s renewed, albeit less frantic, war on Android.