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Lawsuit stokes Apple, HTC fans' passion

Customers takes to fan forums for their favorite smartphone maker to complain about the patent system and question the stifling of fair competition.

As Apple and HTC prepare to duke it out inside a courtroom, fans of both companies' smartphones are taking sides on the Web.

The news of Apple's suing over 20 patents the iPhone maker claims are being infringed on by HTC was a trending topic on Twitter early Tuesday, as thousands of new tweets every minute came in. But fan forums were abuzz over the lawsuit as well.

Over at Phandroid, a site that tracks developments regarding Android phones, which includes HTC, the general reaction was a mix of disgust with both the patent system and Apple. The Android OS is one of Apple's strongest competitors in the mobile realm, and its fans are, perhaps predictably, fairly defensive of HTC.

"Apple is not only screwing their fanboys and slowing down the release of new technology just to make more money, now they bully others who do better stuff than they do," a Phandroid user named "kurt" opined. Over at, "constellanation" wrote, "Oh Apple why must you make it so easy for me to dislike you?"

Apple fans--notorious for their passion--cheered Apple's move ("Finally Apple wakes up," wrote Macrumors reader "LTD") and also seemed to wonder what makes HTC phones so worthy of Apple's ire. "This must mean that the Nexus 1 is pretty good," wrote "iSee" on "Apple wouldn't bothers suing over a crappy product."

And what about Palm's WebOS phones and Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 phones, others asked. With many of the same basic features like pinching and zooming that both HTC phones and the iPhone have, will other manufacturers also be targeted in similar patent disputes?

Still other Apple fans were concerned about competition. "This is NOT good. A market in which the iPhone is the only option is a horrible market indeed," wrote professed Mac fan "zorinlynx." "Having a choice is a good thing. If Apple manages to destroy HTC, Android, Palm, etc...we'll no longer have a choice. And that's a horrible situation."

But beyond bringing out the fanboy in almost everyone, the lawsuit does seem to have renewed ongoing complaints about the U.S. patent system. "I have a dream...that one of these days sanity will come to the world of patents," wrote Appleinsider Forum user "aaarrrgggh". "Unfortunately, I don't think Apple will end up on the bright side of the reform." joked that it's possible to patent almost anything these days: "Please good sirs, allow me to patent the use of my pointer finger to point? Sure--why not--patent granted!"