Nokia did not obtain an injunction against HTC, HTC One mics good to go for now

Nokia did not obtain an injunction against HTC, HTC One mics good to go for now

Summary: HTC issued an official statement clarifying the reports of Nokia winning an injunction against it and the HTC One. It turns out the microphone manufacturer is in trouble, but HTC can use up the stock that is already purchased.

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I am loving my T-Mobile HTC One, and after reading the reviews of the Galaxy S4, I think my decision to go with the HTC One was the correct one. Reports earlier this week stated that Nokia was awarded an injunction against HTC for their dual-membrane microphones, but we have just received further details from HTC to clarify the situation. The great news is that HTC One owners can rest easy knowing their devices are good to go.

Here is the official statement from HTC:

In light of several misleading stories regarding a recent injunction obtained by Nokia against STM (a supplier of components to HTC in the Netherlands), HTC looks to clarify the following points:

  • Nokia has not obtained an injunction in the Netherlands, or anywhere else, against the HTC One

  • The Dutch proceedings were brought by Nokia solely against STM. HTC was not sued by Nokia in the Netherlands

  • The Dutch injunction prohibits STM from selling certain microphones to any company other than Nokia for a limited period

  • The judgment against STM states that HTC can continue to use microphones already purchased from STM in its products because they were purchased in good-faith. Nokia's attempt to obtain a recall of microphones already sold to HTC failed

  • HTC will transition to improved microphone designs once its inventory of STM microphones is exhausted

This is mostly good news for HTC, and if you want an HTC One that was designed with these fantastic microphones, I recommend you buy one soon. It sounds like HTC will need to find another microphone vendor once the STM stock is exhausted, so I am not sure how that will affect future HTC One devices.

Nokia has always had outstanding call quality, incoming and outgoing, so it will be interesting to see if another microphone manufacturer can step up in a timely manner and supply mics to HTC. We don't know how many mics have been sold and if this may impact future availability of the HTC One. My advice is to go out and buy the HTC One now rather than wait to see what happens later.

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Topics: Mobility, HTC, Nokia, Smartphones

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18 comments
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  • Yeah what a crock by HTC. Transition to improved mics? No. These are the

    improved mics. Now they will be transitioning to inferior mics. So lame I cant even give them a "nice try". But totally agree that this first batch with these mics are the ones to get and that the One in general kicks the crap out of the S4. Weak sauce from sammy, expect a marketing blitz to whitewash over it.
    Johnny Vegas
    • honesty

      there is no place for honesty in business, of course some ppl always state that's all they want but then they don't reward/support those honest manufacturers
      Laurin Krystyn
    • funny extension

      So, a Microsoft fan, who is proud that Nokia has sold their soul for Windows, and who has no clue who STM is and what they do, claims the exclusivity deal Nokia has with that company and their attempt to sue their mic supplier is a good thing?

      Here is what will happen: STM will stop supplying Nokia with these microphones. Plain and simple. This is what happens when you abuse your partners. STM might suffer, but might not.

      If you believe that STM is the only source of "good microphones" then you just don't know this technology. But then, you probably think Windows is the only OS in the world.

      HTC might indeed find an better microphone. That might be more expensive for them, but if their STM mic stock is exhausted, that means the One is selling well and the money are there.
      danbi
      • LOL

        you question how much he knows yet you state that if they clear out of microphones they are selling well, do you even know how many they ordered? I bet not.... you are just talking crap over crap and you know nothing about microphones yourself.
        danjames2012
        • your point?

          Why would anyone care how many microphones HTC ordered? Except if you are handling their supply chain, that is.

          What I know or don't know is none of your business -- and best of all -- you have no way to objectively find out :)
          danbi
      • @danbi

        "So, a Microsoft fan, who is proud that Nokia has sold their soul for Windows"

        ?? Many startups sold their "souls" to Apple. To Google. To Microsoft.

        Why you hit Nokia alone?
        spicycheeks
        • why?

          Because, once upon a time, Nokia had great products and great reputation. They lost most of that by declaring their own was bad, and Microsoft's was the best.

          Nokia was not any kind of startup when this happened, it was the king of mobile phones.

          Let me have some history with Nokia myself.
          danbi
  • Mic

    The point is the Mic was designed by Nokia, part of their huge R&D budget and spend.
    The result of this effort, was handed to ST who produced the chip FOR NOKIA, than went on to sell the chips to HTC, who had no problem incorporating them in their phones.
    This is day light stealing of intellectual property to wich both ST and HTC are equally responsible.
    Elias Khoury
    • Possibly

      Interesting, that none of the public articles on the subject suggest these were Nokia designed microphones. Do you have any evidence to the contrary?

      If, and that is a big if, STM sold someone else's design to HTC then STM deserve to be punished and they will obviously lose plenty of trust in the process.

      But, it might also turn out that it was Nokia who requested exclusive access to the microphone designs, and requested no one else has access to these, which in some places is illegal --- in which case it will be Nokia who may eventually face trouble at one moment --- but it's the cost of doing business and be "first" sometimes.

      In any case, I fail to see how this is the fault of HTC, unless they signed an NDA with Nokia. Do you have any proof for this? It is very much possible HTC saw these parts in STM's catalog, liked them and ordered some for their new product. Do you always verify that your supplier has the right to sell you something? How do you do that?
      danbi
      • Give it up, danbi...

        YOu're just anti-Nokia, because Nokia is a partner of Microsoft, and there is nothing you hate more than Microsoft.

        If the microphone was Nokia's design, then HTC should not have had access to it without clearing it up with Nokia, or at least through the STM/Nokia combo.

        What belongs to Nokia, should not be allowed to be used by anybody else, unless Nokia agrees to allow it and gets compensated for it. HTC is just hoping that the injunction is not disallowed by some other judge, who might be more inclined to agree that, Nokia does have a case against HTC.
        adornoe
    • @Elias Khoury

      I dont think HTC is responsible, even if this is the case.

      Nokia gave their trust to STM. HTC bought a product from STM with some trust. Both put trust on wrong person in your case.

      If wrong trust is punishable then HTC AND Nokia are to be punished.
      spicycheeks
  • Call quality

    These are phones aren't they? Call quality is still important isn't it? Why bother with HTC when you could buy a Nokia in that case? Just a a thought. I think this is what the action really represents. A company doesn't just become "rubbish" as some of the rather overzealous comments about Nokia over the last few years have suggested. They had management issues, were rather comfortable being number 1 and failed to spot the move in the market. They have paid dearly for that, but they still spend a lot of money on R&D and have a treasure trove of IP to fall back on on the parts of making phones that aren't so sexy these days, but as the iPhone "antennagate" issue proved, are vital to adequate customer experience.
    dc@...
    • Re: Call quality

      There is much more to call quality than the microphone being used. Of course, by using an awful microphone you can't get much better in quality --- but certainly there are better microphones than what Nokia uses. It is all about finding the proper balance between cost and results.

      The antennagate issue was different. It was the first attempt to build and all-metal mobile phone (with parts of the metal enclosure acting as antennas) and obviously Apple didn't test well all possible scenarios. Which does not mean any other company doing the same would. Today, that design is already well studied and followers with all-metal design like HTC have it much easier. It is always more expensive to be a pioneer. Same for Nokia, by the way.
      danbi
  • Spokeperson for HTC?

    Why do you sound like you are selling for HTC?
    gtee
    • @gtee

      Well!!! I support danbi in this.

      What HTC has to do if STM is sued for wrong doing by Nokia?
      spicycheeks
      • danbi and you are both wrong!

        And there should be an injunction against HTC profiting from somebody else's IP, even if it occurred through a third party.

        Imagine that, GM designs a fantastic new tire, and they contract with Goodyear to produce them for GM cars, exclusively. But, Goodyear then receives a request from Chrysler for those GM tires, and Goodyear figures that, they are the ones producing the tires, so why not let Chrysler have them. Then, Chrysler gets a boost in sales because of those fantastic new tires included with their new cars. Chrysler will have attained a sales advantage, without the R&D, while GM was the one that did the research and initial development. Would it be fair to allow Chrysler continue getting the unfair advantage from somebody else's work and IP?

        HTC and STM are both wrong, and Nokia needs to pursue HTC for compensation, or HTC should have to recall all of the smartphones sold with Nokia's IP. HTC was not exactly the "at fault" party, but they shouldn't be allowed to keep the "property" of someone else.

        So, thief enters someone's house and steals an HDTV, and then takes it to the local pawn shop. The pawn shop sells the TV, and the owner from whom the TV was stolen finds that, somebody he knows has his TV. The owner gets the police involved, and, who do you think will get the TV? Yep! The original owner, and the person who bought it from the pawn shop might be out some $200-$300, and his only recourse is to go back to the pawn shop and try to get his money back. The pawn shop might have to pay the money back, and the thief will have gotten his money, and only the pawn shop loses. Now, liken the pawn shop to what STM was in the 'transaction of the IP", and you'll notice that, STM/HTC will lose, and the Nokia property will go back to Nokia.

        It's okay to dislike Nokia, but fairness dictates that, Nokia was wronged by STM, and HTC refuses to do the right thing here, which is to stop sales of whatever was already produced, and to recall whatever was already sold.
        adornoe
        • You did read the details of the case right?

          Even the judge said HTC was not at fault here because they had no prior knowledge of the agreement between Nokia and STM.
          necessaryevil
          • Apparently, you didn't read or understand my comments correctly...

            I acknowledge that HTC wasn't at fault, but, when a product contains contents "illegally" acquired, then that product should be taken out of circulation. That is the crux of my comments. So, go back and re-read them.
            adornoe