Apple’s been going pretty hard for the last 9 months or so in its litigious pursuit of Android manufacturers, particularly Samsung, Motorola and HTC. While their previous strategy seemed to be based around all-or-nothing sales bans (in Germany, Australia, the United States, and, and, and…) it looks like the Cupertino lawyers may have finally come to their senses, and are preparing to settle. What do they want, short of outright suing their competition to death? Oh not much – just up to $15 for every Android phone and tablet.

The Dow Jones reports that in multiple current suits between Apple and both Samsung and Motorola, the company is seeking between 1% and 2.5% in “royalties” per device sold, or a flat fee between $5 and $15. It should be noted that this sort of thing has a precedent even in Android circles: Microsoft reportedly makes $5 on every device that HTC sells. While these punishments are extreme, they’re not impossible.

In the simplest terms, Apple wants to make sure it makes money even on its competitor’s devices. That’s similar enough to how licensing deals work, and in fact this may be what they have in mind – normally a licensee will pay a flat or annual fee to a patent holder in order to use its ideas. But asking for this much seems a lot like protection money. “Pay us enough money to cut your profits in half, and we’ll allow you to continue to operate.”

Whether or not Samsung or Motorola would take the deal is somewhat up in the air. Samsung in particular has had good fortune defending from Apple’s tablet-based IP assualt, engineering around a ban in Germany and overturning one in Australia. Getting Apple’s dogs out of their hair might be worth it though, especially if there’s a set limit on the amount of time that the punishment is enforced.

[via SlashGear]

  • We, The People.

    Android is stolen technology.  Apple should spend whatever it takes to bring Google to justice.

    • Nunya

       Hope you realize that Android was out before iOS. But let facts get in your way.

    • Umer Salman

      Android is stolen technology? 
      Ever heard of “Notification Center”? Wonder where that came from? 
      And the cloud? Android has had cloud sync for, like, ever… 

      Now Android probably has used a few little things from iOS/iPhone, but iOS/Apple has done their fair share of “borrowing” also! 

    •  Go away!

    • Dan Kenyon 86

      iOS is stolen technology technically, made of the back of OSX where most of the ideas come from xerox. 
      To quote your fabled lord jobs “good artists copy, great artists steal”……

    • Sperrybird

       steve jobs? Is that you?

    • FalseAccusations

       Steve Jobs: ” We are shameless in stealing great ideas ” 1993?

  • Umer Salman

    Both Android and iOS have copied things from each other, emphasis on the BOTH. 

    But Apple here is suing the butts off of Android companies while iOS has “borrowed” some things too! 

    I don’t think Apple should get the $15 on each phone, and I’m glad Google hasn’t resorted to suing Apple for copying “Notification Center” and things.   

  • gmaninvan

    The real reason for this imo is that a few of the patents Apple is trying to sue for were issued in 93′. I would imagine they are running out soon.

  • Kaotic716

    Ever hear of a monopoly screw apple and all this legislation. I thought it was a world of innovation and technology so leave it be apple especially when other company’s make better devices like Motorola, Samsung, Asus, and even HTC.

  • KC

    If Android pays, I’m switching over to other mobile OSes, like Tizen.

    Anyway, the way Android is going, it’s deviating from its very basic foundation it was built on.  Open System, not a CLOSED system like iPhone.

    Now most Android phones are following the unfriendliness of iPhone – embedded battery and absence of external slot for microSD, for starters.

    Yes, I have to start looking other OSes for sure!

    • The number of phones with removable batteries and SD card slots far outweigh those with fixed batteries and no SD card slot.

    • Lblacklol

      Lack of SD Card storage isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Devices that don’t include an SD Card, such as the Galaxy Nexus, do so in favor of greater “on phone” capacity storage. It allows the “sd card” partition to be used along with storage for apps, thereby preventing the need to segregate storage.

      In addition you have other benefits, such as not having to worry about apps and widgets installed to the sd card not working when removed, as well as the ability to access the phone’s storage on the phone itself while simultaneously docked/plugged into a computer via USB. Also, apps installed to the sd card generally can’t or won’t be auto-launched on device boot because the sd card has to be mounted before the data can be accessed (and there’s a delay for this when system boots), so apps moved to sd card that have autostart routines on device start don’t always function correctly.

      Granted, it’d be nice if we could back up things like app data to the cloud. Ultimately a better sync service (a la itunes, although of course less bloated and walled in) for the Android OS would go a long way to completing what was started in the shift away from sd cards in devices like the Nexus S and Xoom. But there is good reason there, it’s just that all the dots weren’t connected first before the move started happening.

  • Sameer Singh

    This change is Apple’s stance is being driven by the realization that subsidies aren’t sustainable. Now they want to cash in on Android’s growth too. 

  • Francomattew

    They have seen that android is not really a competition for them and that if they succeed in killing android all these manufacturers will have no choice but to jump over to window and they(Microsoft) if they play their cards well could be the iPad killer.