We were here first
Taiwanese smartphone OEM HTC has responded to the lawsuit against it announced by Apple earlier this month. It points out that HTC was making smartphones while the iPhone was still just a glint in Steve Jobs' eye.
"HTC disagrees with Apple's actions and will fully defend itself," said HTC CEO Peter Chou. "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.
"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 XD and T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition, our first touch-screen smartphones, and they both shipped in 2002 with more than 50 additional HTC smartphone models shipping since then."
The announcement further emphasizes this point by listing the following HTC innovations:
- 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)
The Apple suit has been generally perceived as a proxy attack on Google. HTC was Google's OEM partner for the first Google-branded phone - the Nexus One. There are various features in the Nexus One - but far from unique to it - that provide similar functionality to Apple's iPhone, such as multitouch gesture controls. Apple will have to prove that Apple patents were infringed with these features.