《经济学人》:HTC使用安卓系统 面临巨额赔偿的控诉
日期:2011-11-21 09:47

(单词翻译:单击)

听力原文

HTC's patent problems
HTC 的专利问题

Android alert
安卓的警报

Using Google’s Android software has given HTC a boost, but it may now make the Taiwanese handset-maker vulnerable to costly lawsuits
使用谷歌的安卓软件给HTC带来了业务的增长,但是现在这也可能会使这家台湾的手机制造商面临巨额赔偿的诉讼

UNTIL a few years ago HTC was pretty small and relatively obscure. But the Taiwanese company’s recent growth has been remarkable. In the second quarter it sold 11m smartphones, more than doubling its revenues in the same period last year. HTC’s main rivals, Nokia, Samsung and Apple, still sell around twice as many smartphones. But its rapid growth, especially on Apple’s American home turf, has made it a competitor to reckon with.

在几年前,HTC还是一家很小、很不著名的公司,但是这家台湾公司最近的增长十分引人注目。第二季度它销售了1100万台智能手机,比它去年同期收入的两倍还多。HTC的主要竞争对手——诺基亚、三星和苹果,在智能机方面的销售量仍然是它的两倍左右。但是它的迅速成长,尤其是在苹果的主场——美国的优异表现让它成为了一个需要顾及的对手。

One reason for HTC’s surging sales is the relentless pace of its innovation: in the past quarter, in which Apple had no new iPhone to launch, HTC introduced ten new models. Another is Google’s Android operating system, on which most of HTC’s smartphones are now based, which has proved a hit among consumers.

解释HTC激增的销售额的其中一条是它不停地创新:在上个季度里,苹果没有新的iPhone发布,HTC却引入了十款新的模型。另一条就是谷歌的安卓操作系统,目前多数HTC的智能机都以此为基础,这个做法使它在顾客中获得了青睐。

Apple has not taken the challenge from HTC lightly. On July 15th the US International Trade Commission upheld two claims in a larger patent suit Apple had filed against its rival. Earlier in the month, Apple had filed additional claims and MOSAID, a Canadian company, said it would also sue HTC, and Sony Ericsson, for patent infringement. The outcome of these cases will be of keen interest not just for HTC but for other handset-makers using Android: promoted as a free, open-source system, it is proving surprisingly expensive. This is because it relies on a host of basic features that may be subject to patents: how a screen is swiped with a finger, how a phone number embedded in an e-mail can be called by tapping it, and so on.

苹果公司也没有对HTC轻敌。在7月15日,美国国际贸易委员会支持了两项在更大专利方面诉讼的请求,这些都是苹果控诉其竞争者的。这个月早些时候,苹果又提起了更多的诉讼,并且加拿大的MOSAID公司也表示会以侵权起诉HTC和索爱。关心这些案子结果的不仅仅是HTC,还有其他使用安卓系统的手机制造商。安卓被宣传为免费、开放的系统,但是最终证明它是异常昂贵的。这是因为它要依赖一大堆基本的特征,而它们是属于专利的:像屏幕如何被手指滑开;一个电话号码如何被嵌入一封邮件中,只要轻触就可以拨打它,等等。

Last year HTC resolved another claim over Android, with Microsoft, agreeing to pay it hefty royalties. More such suits may yet emerge, and prove costly. HTC’s shares, having hitherto outperformed its peers’, have dropped by a third since early June. HTC will appeal against the trade commission’s ruling; but it will fight back in other ways, too. This month it spent $300m buying a loss-making software firm, S3, which recently won a patent case against Apple and may have other patents that will be useful in fending off Apple’s legal forays.

去年HTC解决了另一个关于安卓的赔付要求——它和微软合作,同意支付其昂贵的费用。这样的诉讼可能还会出现,并且都会要求高额的赔付。HTC的股价虽然至今比它的同辈们要好,但仍然从六月初开始下跌了近三分之一。HTC会对美国国际贸易委员的裁决提出上诉,它也会以其他方式反击。这个月它花了30亿美元购买一家总是亏损的软件公司——S3,这使它打赢了一个针对苹果的专利官司,并且也拥有了其他的一些专利可以用于阻击苹果的法律攻势。

Founded in 1997, HTC started out mostly doing contract manufacturing for other gadget-sellers. But as it has gained confidence in making smartphones under its own brand, it has steadily risen up mobile operators’ lists of the handsets they promote to subscribers. By April this year it had a bigger market capitalisation than troubled Nokia. The firm’s success has pushed Cher Wang, its chairwoman and largest shareholder, to the top of Forbes’s Taiwan rich list, passing Terry Gou, the boss of Hon Hai. HTC has kept much of its production in Taiwan whereas Hon Hai (also known as Foxconn) has shifted it to mainland China and stuck with contract manufacturing—a business that emphasises cost-trimming and low value-added.HTC has shown remarkable speed in building new products, adapting to changing telecoms standards and developing its own applications software. And its manufacturing quality has been remarkably high. Unlike rivals HTC has not suffered unpleasant headlines about shoddy products or suicides at its factories. It has made progress in building a brand that reflects innovation and trust, allowing it to escape from the low-cost treadmill on which some of its peers remain stuck.

创始于1997年,HTC以给其他配件销售商做代工起家。但是当它从自己名下品牌的智能机制造获得自信以后,它就逐渐出现在服务商给其客户的手机宣传名单中。到今年四月,它已经拥有了比麻烦缠身的诺基亚更高的市值。这家公司的成功,使得它的女董事长以及最大股东,王雪红,超过鸿海公司的老板郭台铭,成为台湾福布斯的首富。HTC保持了它在台湾的产能,而鸿海(也作富士康)则移至大陆,并坚持代工——这是一项强调成本控制的行业,而且附加值很低。HTC以令人瞩目的速度制造新的产品、适应不断变化的电信产业标准和开发自己的应用软件。它的制造质量也是十分良好的。不像它的竞争对手,HTC已经在它的工厂产出劣质产品和自杀事件的报道中吃了亏。它在建立反映创新和信赖的品牌方面有所进步,使得它可以从低成本单调的工作中逃离出来,而那些正是它的一些同辈们苦苦支撑的。

But there is a risk that Android, a key element in this successful strategy, is turning into a vulnerability. Apple sees its patents as a weapon to undermine Android’s cost advantage. The more time HTC has to spend fighting lawsuits, and the greater the share of its revenues it has to pay out in software royalties, the harder it will be to keep up its remarkable run of success.

但是其中也有风险,那就是安卓——它成功策略中重要的一个元素,正在成为一个软肋。苹果将它的专利视作一种武器来破坏安卓系统的成本优势。HTC花在打官司上的时间越多,它从收入中拿出支付版税的钱也就越多,而它要想保持它目前成功的运营也就越困难。
生词注释

vulnerable adj. 易受伤害的
obscure a.不著名的
infringement n.违反,侵害
outperform v. 做得比...好; 胜过...
revenue n.收入

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重点单词
  • troubledadj. 动乱的,不安的;混乱的;困惑的
  • claimn. 要求,要求权;主张,断言,声称;要求物 vt. 要
  • promotevt. 促进,提升,升迁; 发起; 促销
  • contractn. 合同,契约,婚约,合约 v. 订合同,缩短,缩小,
  • outcomen. 结果,后果
  • shoddyn. 次品,劣质产品 adj. 劣质的
  • obscureadj. 微暗的,难解的,不著名的,[语音学]轻音的 v
  • remarkableadj. 显著的,异常的,非凡的,值得注意的
  • additionaladj. 附加的,另外的
  • vulnerableadj. 易受伤害的,有弱点的