HTC's first response to Apple's legal assault - that they'd basically been surprised by the announcement, and that they value IP but have a strong portfolio of their own - left many people wanting more, and the company's lawyers have worked up just that. In a new statement from the company, under the overly polite headline of "HTC disagrees with Apple's actions", HTC lay out their own history of innovation to show that they're not just a copycat firm.
That history includes the first color touchscreen smartphone back in 2002 - but with a design process that started several years earlier, in 1999 - and moves through Windows Phones, the first "gesture based smartphone" and all the way through to Android. They've also listed some of their innovation awards, received from industry and consumers alike.
The underlying message lurks in the second paragraph: "HTC disagrees with Apple's actions and will fully defend itself." Legal experts are already predicting that this battle could go on for years before being settled, and there are big issues at stake not only for HTC and Apple but Microsoft, Google and other firms.
HTC DISAGREES WITH APPLE’S ACTIONS
Seattle – March 17, 2010 – HTC Corporation today outlined its disagreement with Apple’s legal actions and reiterated its commitment to creating a portfolio of innovative smartphones that gives consumers a variety of choices. Founded in 1997 with a passion for innovation and a vision for how smartphones would change people’s lives, HTC has continually driven this vision by consistently introducing award-winning smartphones with U.S. mobile operators.
“HTC disagrees with Apple’s actions and will fully defend itself. 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,” said Peter Chou, chief executive officer, HTC Corporation. “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 T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition 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, and they both shipped in 2002 with more than 50 additional HTC smartphone models shipping since then.”
The industry has recognized HTC’s contributions through a variety of awards including Fast Company’s 2010 Top 50 Most Innovative Companies and MIT Technology Review’s 2010 50 Most Innovative Companies. The GSMA also recently awarded the HTC Hero as the “Best Phone of 2009.” Some of HTC’s technology firsts include:
First Windows PDA (1998)
First Windows Phone (June 2002)
First 3G CDMA EVDO smartphone (October 2005)
First gesture-based smartphone (June 2007)
First Google Android smartphone (October 2008)
First 4G WIMAX smartphone (November 2008)
In 2009, HTC launched its branded user experience, HTC Sense. HTC Sense is focused on putting people at the center by making phones work in a more simple and natural way. This experience was fundamentally based on listening and observing how people live and communicate.
“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,” said Jason Mackenzie, vice president of HTC America. “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.”
For more information on HTC’s history of innovation, please visit: www.htc.com/history.