engine giant Google has made it unsurprisingly clear that it will be backing HTC against Apple as the latter has filed an unexpected lawsuit against the former for infringing on 20 of its patents pertaining to the core of HTC's portfolio, smartphones.
A Google spokesperson told influential tech blog Techcrunch that “We are not a party to this lawsuit. However, we stand behind our Android operating system and the partners who have helped us to develop it”
The growing importance and success of Android-based smartphones have been watched with unease from the Apple headquarters in Cupertino to a point where there were claims that Steve Jobs himself said that Google was looking to kill the iPhone.
A recent report, which showed that Android marketshare in the US grew while that of the iPhone dipped, further cemented the fear that Android will be the biggest threat to the iPhone in 2010.
Google's growing ambitions has put it squarely in the path of Apple. It launched a web browser, a mobile phone and is preparing for a new operating system, Chrome OS, by the end of the year.
Apple has responded by buying a mobile advertising specialist, Quattro Wireless, and could, if it wanted to enter the search business, by acquiring what remains of Yahoo or entering a strategic alliance with Microsoft, something that would seriously p*ss Google.
The interesting thing here is that Google proactively approached Techcrunch rather than wait for the whole thing to simmer. The company knows that it has much to lose should Apple win this battle. One thing is sure though, the gloves are off. Expect this to be a bloody round.