When the news broke that Nokia had filed against HTC for components used in the HTC One, it all looked like another desperate ploy from Nokia to top up the coffers with cash secured from lawsuits. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case at all and now that some more info has been shed on the matter, it looks like the component manufacturer is really at fault here. Nokia and STMicroelectronics co-developed the high-amplitude mics together and thus entered a 12-month exclusivity deal that would make Nokia the only party allowed to buy and use the chips. STMicroelectronics are claiming that they thought the contract was just 6-months long, because large companies don’t check things like this, clearly.
The district court of Amsterdam has passed down a 10-month ban preventing STMicroelectronics to sell the chips to anyone but Nokia. The court has stated that HTC was “blameless” and couldn’t possibly know the ins and outs of a contract signed with Nokia. This means that there won’t be a sales ban on current HTC Ones out there already and that you’ll still be able to buy the device. Whether or not HTC will have to look elsewhere is unclear but, the company have issued a statement:
“HTC is disappointed in the decision. We are consulting with STM and will decide whether it is necessary to explore alternative solutions in due course. In the meanwhile, we do not expect this decision to have any immediate impact on our handset sales.”
The good thing to hear about this is that HTC will be able to carry on selling their current models and it shouldn’t affect sales in the future, after delays relating to their camera module the last thing they need is yet another delay.
It’s strange to see this sort of thing happen but, if Nokia have developed a microphone solution with a manufacturer then, it’s understandable that they’d be protective of it, especially if there was a signed agreement preventing STMicroelectronics to sell to other parties. Thankfully, this seems to have been sorted in a timely manner.