This is where things start to get really interesting. Reports Ian Sherr for Dow Jones Newswire:
The consumer-electronics company [Apple] has put forth proposals to Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. to settle some pending litigation in exchange for royalty payments to license its patents, among other terms, these people said.
Apple isn’t attempting to offer patent licenses to all its competitors or create a royalty business, one person familiar with the matter said.
Okay, so what are they doing then? The key may be here:
One factor is that Android has proliferated so widely that shutting the software out of the market using injunctions is no longer practical, one of the people said. Licensing is an alternative that could add cost to Android development and make it less appealing for manufacturers.
In other words, if this report is correct, Apple is simply taking a new approach in their battle to destroy Android. Instead of suing them out of existence, they may take a page from Microsoft’s playbook and demand a fee that will make the OEM partners think twice about using the “free” Android software.
If Microsoft is getting $5 for each Android device sold from many OEMs, and Apple starts getting another $5-$15, that’s a lot of money to be paying to use an OS that was previously completely free.
It has been reported that Steve Jobs said he would be willing to spend all of Apple’s money to destroy Android. Right or wrong, Tim Cook may be opting for the more economically viable approach.