HTC boss Peter Chou has dismissed some of the more extravagant estimates of what it has agreed to pay Apple per Android handset in the 10-year patent settlement between the two announced recently.
With only news of the deal itself having been reported, speculation has run wild as to the actual figure involved, but Chou says some of the numbers being mentioned – as high as $6 - $8 per handset – are both “outrageous” and “very, very wrong”.
To refresh your memory, Apple and HTC finally brought a long-running dispute over patents to an end early last week, announcing a decade-long agreement covering both current and future patent agreements on both sides, and settling all existing disputes between the two.
Specifically, the patents at the heart of the agreement relate to UI elements such as the slide-to-unlock feature and universal search, the fight over which saw HTC's Android-based One X and Evo 4G prevented from going on sale in the US earlier this year.
But with some reports suggesting HTC may be paying Apple as much as $8 per handset for the privilege, Chou has broken his silence on the matter, saying those figures are way off the mark (though without telling us what the real figure actually is).
“I think that these estimates are baseless and very, very wrong,” Chou told reporters at a product launch in Tokyo this week.
“It is a outrageous number, but I'm not going to comment anything on a specific number. I believe we have a very, very happy settlement and a good ending.”
Whatever the real figure is, the agreement is without question good news for HTC. It provides some welcome breathing space at a time when HTC desperately needs to refocus its efforts – particularly its Android division – and leaves Apple's legal eagles free to swoop on Samsung, which isn't quite a mutual enemy but certainly isn't doing either company's bottom line any favours right now.
And speaking of which, Chou reiterated that however much it has agreed to pay Apple isn't enough to impact on the company's fourth quarter earnings estimates.