Apple has announced that it is filing a lawsuit against HTC over the alleged infringement of about 20 patents that cover critical aspect of touch phones, like hardware, software and touch-display control. Some see the lawsuit as being directed at Google, but I think that they are wrong: this is a move directed at the entire smartphone industry in which Apple says that it will defend its current dominant position. Although Google and Android have a rapidly growing market share, Android goes far beyond HTC and the smartphone market goes much farther than Android.
Apple should quite frankly worry about Microsoft and its Windows Phone 7 Series that uses pinch and zoom in a very nice user interface. If you remember, Nokia and Apple are also engaged in a similar legal battle, while Kodak and Motorola have sued RIM. The bottom-line is that wireless is a very juicy business and we’re simply seeing a turf war, fought with patents and where lawyers are on the front lines. It seems unlikely that HTC phones will be pulled out of the market, but this will at least distract competitors from whatever next-generation phones they are working on.