In early November Apple and HTC reached a 10-year licensing deal in regards to patent use for smartphone devices. At the time of that agreement Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu claimed that HTC would pay Apple somewhere in the vicinity of $6 to $8 per device. Now HTC CEO Peter Chou is setting that rumor straight, claiming that such a high patenting pricing agreement would be “outrageous” by any standard.
Chou was speaking at a KDDI Corp product launch in Tokyo where he proclaimed:
“I think that these estimates are baseless and very, very wrong. 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.”
HTC chairwoman Cher Wang tells the FT that Chou personally led negotiations and that the company was not attempting to replace top level executives in a shakeup of the once popular smartphone firm.
According to Wang:
“Peter Chou has my total trust [and] support… There’s not any doubt about his accomplishment and ability.”
While HTC may not be paying $6 to $8 per smartphone to Apple, the company still faces a long and winding road ahead. HTC once dominated much of the Windows mobile and general smartphone market. In recent years the company has struggled to find its footing among steep competition from Samsung, Motorola, LG and other Google Android based manufacturers. In Q3 HTC reported revenues of $2.4 billion, a 48% decline year-over-year and a 23% decline from the quarter prior.
Between its $40 million loss due to OnLive restructuring, its failed investment in Beats Audio and its often odd choices in smartphone design and functionality, HTC has created its own problems through various corporate missteps. The question now becomes, can HTC find its footing and once again capture back part of the mobile market share it so easily lost.
[Image via techpounce]