HTC to pay Apple Licensing Fees

HTC will pay licensing fees to Apple as part of its settlement agreement with the U.S. company, a person familiar with the situation said.

It was unclear how much the Taiwanese smartphone maker would pay, but given HTC’s deteriorating financial position, analysts expressed concern about its long-term competitiveness.

Two years ago HTC was the top seller in the U.S. of smartphones using Google’s Android operating system. But HTC steadily lost market share in the fast-growing smartphone market as Apple, Samsung and other rivals introduced popular devices.

HTC’s global smartphone market share fell to 4% in the third quarter from 10.3% a year earlier, according to research firm IDC. That pushed the Taiwanese company to fifth place, below Chinese handset maker ZTE.

The mood at HTC’s headquarters on Monday was one of relief, the person familiar with the situation said. He said HTC initiated the settlement talks with Apple after receiving several legal setbacks recently. A decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission had found that Apple’s iPhone and iPad mobile devices hadn’t infringed HTC’s patents. In a separate case, the ITC found that HTC’s phones infringed Apple’s patents.

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