Well we all know how the battle between Samsung and Apple is going, with both Verizon and T-Mobile recently showing their colours and coming down on the side of Samsung by filing friends of court briefs in support of the Galaxy range supplier, and now it appears the same has happened in the fight with HTC against Apple.
According to an article over on Android Community by the usual source of such information, FOSS Patents, both T-Mobile and Google have now taken the same steps as Verizon and T-Mobile did and filed amicus curiae briefs in support of HTC in their legal battle against iPhone maker.
The reason for the friends of the court filings is the same as the Big Red and T-mobile filings in the Samsung case, namely the public interest, with both companies claiming that if Apple is successful in banning HTC from selling their products, “various negative effects will be felt by American consumers.”
Apparently the T-Mobile brief in support of HTC is twice as long as it’s brief in support of Samsung, coming in at 14 pages, while Google’s brief is a lengthy 80 pages long, and shows that both companies are “profoundly concerned” on the impact a ban would have on Android as a whole.
Furthermore, T-Mobile has asked that even if an infringement is found, the ITC deny an import ban, or as an alternative, “allow a four-to-six month transition period [...] so that T-Mobile and the rest of the industry could change to other devices without harming U.S. consumers.”
Obviously when it comes to Google they are “categorically” opposed to the ban and don’t propose any transition period.
In Apple’s public interest rebuttal statement they suggest that HTC could offer alternative devices to Android if banned by offering Windows Phone handsets. However T-Mobile claim that consumers who want Android would not consider alternatives, and also states “unlike Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, T-Mobile does not carry any version of Apple’s iPhone smartphone.”
Goggle’s argument against an import ban is that banning HTC and Samsung devices would make Apple a monopoly… “Apple is the largest seller of mobile computing devices in the U.S. [...] Allowing this supplier to eliminate the competition from a fast-moving, maverick competitor (HTC) could drive up prices, diminish service, decrease consumers’ access to the technology, and reduce innovation.”
Personally I think it’s about time all this bickering was laid to rest and sorted out without the need to ban any products anywhere and thus deliver the best of both mobile worlds to the customer, as it will in the end be the customer who decides which platform and which smartphone or tablet they want, and shouldn’t be denied the option of choice.
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