updated 09:30 am EST, Mon November 7, 2011
HTC discusses patents and Android 4 phone upgrades
HTC outlined some of its Android plans on Monday that included both the courtroom and its products. In a far-ranging briefing, the company's CEO Peter Chou told Reuters his company was "open-minded" to the prospect of buying patents to escalate its fight with Apple. There weren't any specific plans, he said.
The company has so far had a tough time in legal battles with Apple, being found in violation in one complaint and having other attempts shot down. It has only made small gestures towards improving its ability to contest Apple's claims, buying S3 after a patent win and borrowing from Google and Motorola for countersuits.
In extra comments, Chou added that the company would push more into the developing world, albeit keeping the high-end image it has given its established success. He hinted at going back into tablets after the muted responses to the Flyer and Jetstream. Rumors have talked of a quad-core tablet due early next year; Chou wouldn't touch on these, but tried to minimize current ventures as experiments rather than a full strategy.
"Tablet is a market we would like to try and test, to see whether we can make ourselves stand out and prevent a me-too product," he said. The company saw the Flyer drop to $300 after it had a hard time competing at its original $500.
In more definitive commitments, the company outlined the first parts of its roadmap for upgrading its hardware to Android 4.0. Its first wave of upgrades would come in early 2012 and will include the Amaze 4G, Evo 3D, Evo Design 4G, Rezound, Sensation, Sensation XE, and Sensation XL. More devices might come, and more details would be coming soon, HTC explained.
Most other Android supporters are also planning early 2012 upgrades to 4.0, which brings in some of the more polished visuals and interface elements to phones. Motorola has committed to at least the Droid Bionic and Droid RAZR, while Samsung's higher-end phones and tablets will get the upgrade too.