According to Oppenheimer's Yair Reiner, Apple's lawsuit against HTC didn't come out of left field as most of us thought. Really, Apple had warned handset manufacturers that they were going to be stricter about enforcing their patents.
"Starting in January, Apple launched a series of C-Level discussions with tier-1 handset makers to underscore its growing displeasure at seeing its iPhone-related IP [intellectual property] infringed. The lawsuit filed against HTC thus appears to be Apple's way of putting a public, lawyered-up exclamation point on a series of blunt conversations that have been occurring behind closed doors."
Note: Reiner doesn't mention Apple warning HTC specifically, but as a tier-1 handset manufacturer, it's hard to imagine their exclusion from such conversations.
As Reiner tells it, Apple's actions have sent "rival software and hardware teams...back to the drawing board to look for work-arounds" while lawyers look for holes in the suit. That's not fantastic news if you don't either produce or carry an iPhone. [Brainstorm Tech]