Aaron's not able to write this weekend's poll, because he's too busy being a dad to his newborn son! He'll be back soon, and we all wish him the very best.
Last night, HTC and Apple issued a joint press release indicating the two companies have settled their ongoing patent slapfight. Under a confidential, 10-year licensing arrangement, they have agreed to what essentially amounts to a rigid patent ceasefire. Even future patents are covered under the deal (there obviously will be exceptions to any deal, but that's the gist).
The exact reasons for this sudden change of heart by both sides (both HTC and Apple have recently been quite vocal about their unwillingness to compromise) will probably remain a mystery for years, unless someone really goofs up and leaks that information out. What we do know is that it was a surprise. Whether you had told me yesterday, three months ago, or last year that a settlement was around the corner, I would have been extremely skeptical.
It's been rather easy to be pessimistic about Android and Apple's legal wranglings over the last year-plus, too. Numerous devices have been slapped with absurd injunctions, a billion dollar verdict was handed down, and many passive aggressive statements from the parties involved are traded with each new filing.
So, is a 10-year peace deal between Apple and HTC a sign that the worst is finally behind us? Are more deals like this just a matter of time? Make your thoughts known - you know the drill.