Philip Elmer-DeWitt, quoting from a report from Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner on the behind-the-scenes aspects of Apple’s patent suit against HTC:
Starting in January, Apple launched a series of C-Level
discussions with tier-1 handset makers to underscore its growing
displeasure at seeing its iPhone-related IP [intellectual
property] infringed. The lawsuit filed against HTC thus appears to
be Apple’s way of putting a public, lawyered-up exclamation point
on a series of blunt conversations that have been occurring behind
Our checks also suggest that these warning shots are meaningfully
disrupting the development roadmaps for would-be iPhone killers.
Rival software and hardware teams are going back to the drawing
board to look for work-arounds. Lawyers are redoubling efforts to
gauge potential defensive and offensive responses. And strategy
teams are working to chart OS strategies that are better hedged.
Reiner concludes that the effect is going to be to drive would-be Android handset makers into the arms of Microsoft and Windows Phone 7.