From the very beginning of Google's venture into the mobile world, HTC has played a major role in the rapid growth and popularization of Android. Although they were in the mobile game long before Android entered the scene, the HTC brand was not nearly as widely known. All of that changed after the first Android phone, the HTC-made G1, made it to shelves. Since then, both Android and HTC have grown side by side on a one-way trip to the top.

HTC was also the brains behind the iconic Nexus One and a handful of the most popular phones to date like the original EVO 4G, Sensation and EVO 3D. Aside from topnotch hardware, though, HTC is responsible for creating arguably the most popular custom interface as well. Elements of Sense UI were popular and appeared on phones prior to Android (in the form of TouchFLO), but love for the smooth, glossy interface has grown immensely over the past three years. Although some will argue that Samsung may be reaching for HTC's crown, the consensus for years has been that HTC is the "King of Android." And it's likely to stay that way for some time, that is, if they can make it through the ominous storm ahead.

The creators of the ever-popular iPhone – and Microsoft, for that matter – have been going around suing Android manufacturers for allegedly violating patents. Apple sued HTC, claiming the Taiwanese company has infringed on ten of their patents. Yesterday, we learned that an International Trade Commissions (ITC) judge ruled that HTC is in fact violating at least two of the ten patents. The judge's ruling is subject to review by a six-person committee, which could ultimately determine the fate of some HTC devices in the US.

Worst case scenario? It would seem as if several HTC-made handsets could be pulled from US shelves, but that may not be the worst case. AllThingsD revealed exactly which patents the judge had ruled HTC infringed upon:

5,946,647: "system and method for performing an action on a structure in computer"
6,343,263: "real-time signal processing system for serially transmitted data"

These two patents, according to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, are “very fundamental” and “are very likely to be infringed by code that is at the core of Android.” Further evidence of such, as mentioned by Alex yesterday, these exact patents are part of a suit battle between Apple and Motorola.

For the sake of this article, however, we will assume that all will be fine on the core Android side of things. As patent battles usually go, the storm blows over with little damage done – disputes like these are often settled outside of court. Just to exercise the brain a bit, let us also assume the review committee upholds the judge's decision and that spells the end of HTC-made Android phones in the US. What then? Who becomes “Android King?” What happens with OS updates for current HTC phones in the States?

A world (or country, rather) without HTC phones is a difficult one to imagine and it leaves more questions unanswered than "Lost." One thing is certain, though. There would be an uproar of angry Android users, and the platform's growth could be severely stunted for some time.

Don't get all teary eyed just yet, though. There are numerous ways that this patent war could pan out. Apple could license aforementioned patents to HTC, much like the result of Microsoft's patent suit against them. Or as we have seen in the past, this could all blow over with very few side effects. Most of these patent battles are nothing but big corporations flexing their legal muscles and jingling the change in their deep pockets.

Regardless of how things turn out for HTC, let's hope this is an eye-opener for Google. We know that Motorola has already shown dissatisfaction in Google's lack of patent stock and protection for their assets. Losing support from Motorola would be a big hit for the little green robot. Losing HTC could be fatal.

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102 Reactions to this post


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Taylor Rentschler IT WOULD BE GREAT!!! iPhone would finally have no competition!!!!
Bryan Platt Some ppl hate the iPhone so much they ported android to the late grate I shit apple is losing the battle as I said that's why there trying so hard an nit picking every little similarity.
Athier Mohammed i think it would be normal...but i would miss htc sence 2.0
KoDy Designed ByCrime A better question would be what would it be without Samsung?
Jacob Rodriguez I think HTC has done a fantastic job in showing the ability of what android has to offer. It would be Samsung leading the way with android if HTC wasn't around. Apple needs to stop with patent b.s.
Tham Ye Yang The world will go on as per normal! And hopefully iPhone will be king forever! :)
Raunaq Kumaran there will be a huge uproar and the android vs apple rivalry wont be competition...it will will be World War 3!!!
Bryan Platt htc hd 2 one of the phones best ever available on the market although not originally an android it can run 5 different operating systems an still holds it's own against the new phones now. Apple is scrounging for what they can get because there loosing the battle.
Raymond Nuanez I love HTC! I have owned 4 HTC phones. The xv6700, t-mobile dash, touch pro 2, and now the MyTouch 4G. They make the most premium smartphones out there. Suing handset makers are not going to make them go away! Apple needs to stop acting like cry babies and just keep making crappy POS phones!
Jacob Gray A better world hahaha
Teron Facey Messing with Apple patents?? Do you know Apple has sued Nokia, Sony, Samsung and now HTC on this so called stealing patents its a joke.
Kevin Mybigman apple is suck, my ipod touch 4g now is laggy.....
Hansel Starley Samsung would have shit like the Behold 3 out.
Asher Grimm Don't even joke about that
Tanya L. Stellmach I <3 my HTC Evo Shift! Best phone I ever had :)
Cary Mompoint Jr @arnulfo, quit sucking apple's c*ck!!! I hope you're getting paid for all the bashing your doing in here. HTC is definitely the best hardware manufacturer of the bunch, and to have a world w/out HTC would definitely be a bad thing. Specs wise HTC may not have the most powerful phones, but they def do have the sexiest phones. Apple makes a great product, but they really need to get off their high horse, and stop bashing every other manufacturer that's out there! I really wish someone would slap Steve Jobs up side his head!
Brandon Ricker I wouldn't have a phone or a carrier lol, Apple Shit and tried Samsung their phones are good bit to fragile and Motorola lol motoblur that's all I have on them
Jason SonZai Chong 1st thing that comes up in my mind when I hear Android is HTC .BEST Android phones maker in terms of design and UI .
KoDy Designed ByCrime SAMUNG IS KING!!!!
Erman Guido Motorola
Angel Ortiz I have to thank Apple for intoducing me to my Sensation and I luv it. I got tired waiting for a legal iPhone to come to tmobile no thx to that tyranical ceo jobs.
Krzysztof Tomczyk HTC king of android phones I love HTC sensation
Travis Brown I wouldnt wanna live in it.
Travis Lamar Pachan I'd prefer any android phone over an inferior phone for the fact that my friend drooped his inferior phone 4 once on to a rubber floor and it was damaged beyond repair. My thunderbolt flew 10 ft off a table and landed on cement and not a scratch. Plus I like multitasking.
Felix Gomez This would stink since htc makes the best android phones.
Jason Downs my new sensation 4g is just sensational! the iphone is way behind in technology. Android all the way!
Alex Barajas All of my smartphones have been htc..starting with the g1 to the mytouch, nexus one, and now the HTC sensation
Jordan Williams And phones made of cheap shitty plastic by one of the most corrupt companies in the world? Samsung isn't all that great. Just sayin. I've had a pair of shit phones from them, a shitty camera from them....I'm going to pass on a shitty phone too.
Rian Kapadia And that's not all.
Rian Kapadia @arnuflo what do you mean "better"? The standard LCD screen can't compete with LED backlights. Why do you think all the TV companies are switching to LED screens? The colors and black levels of screens like the retina display are nowhere near the deep blacks and vibrant colors of the samsung super AMOLED HD screen. Not to mention that the dual core xenos processor, blows the A5 chip out of the water. Also, Android contains TRUE multitasking that will do multiple downloads at the same time, which IOS cannot seem to do. Not to mention android has Adobe flash 10.3 which enables you to go to full websites, exactly the same as if you go to the website on your computer
KoDy Designed ByCrime A world with screens that are actually visible in sunlight and speakers that are loud enough to hear outside ....oh and camera optics that are actually worth a damn #TEAMSAMSUNG!!!
Joel Gomez There would be no android. There would be no google map navigation better youtube app voice control total app integration swype etc. In other words cooler apps. We would be stuck with apple's limited communist mediocre world monopoly at its mercy. I dont want that world.
Christopher Tyrone Truitt HTC is the best the cell phone world would suck with out it.
Ron Dennis If you haven't got a HTC...well, you've got an iPhone.
Daniel Scott Apple everywhere. Disgusting.
Gerard Hyacinthe ....or maybe I'd just buy an iPhone.
Gerard Hyacinthe I'd strip down nekkit, set myself on fire, and jump in front off a speeding bus!
Keleon A Rockett Basically android wouldn't exist period!
Ayoub Hage Why dosent Apple compete instead of suing? Could this be the fact that Steve jobs and his board of fatcats feel threatend by HTC?........(ps) love my sensation. :)
Time Lord i world with out Htc the iphone would still be getting minor upgrades it was not until htc produced the nexus one that apple had a fire lit under its ass and stopped pushing minor upgrades to hardware
Kory S. Deberry It will be a sad day
Arnulfo Barajas @hansel...thats how bussiness works And thats period! @flako....unmm apples retina display is way better than sansungs amoled display!
Arnulfo Barajas @hansel...thats how bussiness works And thats period! @flako....unmm apples retina display is way better than sansungs amoled display!
Flako Ramirez Not good at all but would go with samsung not iphone...after all samsung has the gorgeous display that not even htc can beat plus when they come out with super amoled plus HD is gonna be a killer
Hans Jaramillo Depends on how vague or specific the patents are. If they would be as vague as Apple's, then no suing should occur. It's a known fact the US Patent System is broken. This is proof of that.
Kevin Song Android wouldn't be as great and it would give me another reason on why I already hate Apple as it is. Them and their pathetic lawsuits over patents that no one really cares about.
Arnulfo Barajas @hansel......hello thats how bussiness works...ok what whould u do if apple messed with htc's patents
Joel Diaz I think I would hate life if HTC androids didn't exist. I don't even wanna think about it. Please take down this post. Its a bit sad. Have to put good thoughts in my head now. Give my thunderbolt a hug and kiss.
Hans Jaramillo @Arnulfo Barajas: Apple's "patents" are a joke. Have you read them? Apple is just jealous of HTC's and Android's success. They can't stand not being on top. They're being anti-competitive. Google should sue Apple for copying the android notification pull down window in iOS 5. It's a carbon copy. Oh, and how hypocritical is Steve Jobs? Remember when he publicly said Apple prides itself in stealing great ideas? Of course you don't. ;)
Nicholas Heise It would be much, much, much worse. GO HTC!!!!
Mason Hartley It would suck there hardware is great and the UI is amazing I would metion apple sucks but that would be if they even matter so ill say the pam pre sucks because I would rank it over the iphone.
Tiffany Woodall My first touch screen was a htc =)
Arnulfo Barajas Its htc's fault not apples!..htc messed with apples patents !..to bad live with it!.apple had to do this to teach them a lesson!
Josue Cifuentes no htc is like a human with out hand or feet lol
Jamarius Williams Fucked up!!!
Melissa Cruz-Guzmán HTC is my absolute favorite. I would have to make Steve Jobs disappear. ;)
Rian Kapadia By the way, Apple is crap
Sean McCollum To add to my last comment, without the iPhone, Apple would have probably gone out of business. It was what saved them.
Sean McCollum Apple would have never found the need to make an iPhone, and we'd still be using WinMo with a stylus.
Rian Kapadia Terrible, my Evo 3D is simply amazing
Arnulfo Barajas Htc sucks ass!!!... now android knows not to mess with apple!!
Tom Parker A world without android phones would be wonderful. iPhone all the way.
C Bryan Thomas HTC is irrefutably the best manufacturer of smart phones. Thy have the most advanced hardware and software and are the most astetically pleasing. I also enjoy Apple devices also. A word of advice Apple. Produce great devices more often as opposed to annually and this and not your enumerable law suits will allow you to compete.
Cody Sulouff Why do you guys ask stupid questions like this? The world would be almost exactly the same.....
Arnulfo Barajas Ahhh get over it! All android phones are the same just go buy a lg or motorola phone!
Darryl Mouzone It would be a much better world. Phones would last a whole day with heavy use without needing charging, less fanboys to talk about how great their HTC phones are and every other phone sucks compared to HTC, it would be a world for the better. I'm going back in time to stop HTC phones from being made! Muahahahahahaha!!!!!
Jose Efrain Estrada Does anybody have a google+ acc. That can send me an invite. Thanks
Gordon Christie Windows phones arent that bad saw and iphone 4 up close thought its was and ipod its had a tiny screen and the pics, so its took were awful grainy glad ive got a galaxys2
Jevaughn Thomas Don't even want to think about something like dat
J Kree White Not good without htc
Trinity Kolarova Hoodrich it would be like cereal without milk go HTC! SAY no to isuck (iphone)
Teron Facey @ Chris James care to explain your theory on that?? No I'm not a fanboy if that going to be any part of your reply.
Rolando Candanosa Everyone would have an iPhone. I've followed HTC since the T-mobile Wing days.
Angelo Bruno I have lived in a world without HTC for a month....when my incredible broke they sent me a Droid x...horrible,horrible...Motorola is not user friendly at all. Now that I have the thunderbolt, I'm much happier. They get the simple things right
Chad Zumbaugh horrible! i love my incredible!!!!!!
Hans Jaramillo If Apple goes after the other manufacturers, they should be sued for being anti-competitive. Their "patents" are a joke. They're so vague, they can mean anything. They're suing android manufacturers because they can't stand being number two. They're sore losers. HTC made the first android phone, Motorola made android popular in the US, and Samsung made it even more popular around the world.
Josh Ward It would b a good thing in my eyes I hate android so the much less I see of that little green bastard the better this proves DON'T FUCK WITH APPLE
Christopher Wesley Samsung sucks. It would suck without HTC
Jade Hart Awful. Love my HTC Droid Eris
Anthony Beltran I will really suck alot......apple you fail
Ashley Vaughan It would be great! Apple ftw!
Bobby Ward The end of the world lol
Maurice Hall Less expensive for me atleast... I would stop having to buy a new phone every 4 months to keep up with the times lol
James Vincent Without HTC there would be no sense ui and think about how many sense features have found their way into android and how many more have been put into the various launchers on the market
Tom Chavira Android would probably not have been as successful as it is today.
Kuba Rdzak I wanna one HTC EVO 3D or Samsung Galaxy SII <3 :P Heh, dreams.
Mohammad Tayyab Khalid We would all probably be apples bitch
Cesario Brito Jr. Theres no what ifs. It will never happen.
Jon Wages a world run by crApple...the world would truly come to an end then
Ramon Quintero Well i want to know how all these android manufacturers feel about getting sued over android. I mean is it worth it? I see android going down in the feature because of this. Im a wp7 fan and you still have to add the money microsoft makes for every htc android phone made.$5 Might not seem like a big deal but that money adds up.
Angel Merino fuck Steve jobs
Dequelon Byron If that happen the stock of every other android phone maker would increase and apples would stay the same, then after they realize they're plan wasn't effective me and HTC storm the core of apple and start WW2.5
Truly Nice Wouldnt make a difference....samsung is the leading phone manfucture in the world.....they would just consume that peice of the market....i do like some htc devices tho so it would suck i guess.....but for those of u that think apple would get some of that lmfao!......u poor child u
Tony Dear III HTC started android...they will finish it.
Tony Stark We also have Motorola!
John Chavez MANY would go "These are not the droids I'm looking for.." including me
Derrick Benny Stobbs Pure sadness
Anthony Ray Rodriguez Parada This subject matter is stupid. I'm sure phone dog wishes for iphone dominance. HTC ain't going anywhere.
Akash Sukhija HTC made the first freaking touchscreen phone people!!!!!! They're like the IBM of Phones!!!!!!!!
Ramon Quintero Well i guess htc will start to focus on wp7 and maybe webos.
Timothy D Alston Apple and horrid Windows Mobile phones

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