I doubt you know what the posters on this site do for a living. With that said, you are correct that none of us likely know the final outcome. Apple can appeal any patents that were ruled as not being violated by HTC. HTC can appeal the two it is claimed to have violated. Further, Apple recently filed a new complaint concerning 5 new iPhone related patents.
If HTC is ultimately found to have violated Apple's patent(s) after the appeal process, Android may still continue to spread, but HTC will have to stop using the patented ideas if Apple doesn't give HTC a license. Otherwise, HTC's products using the idea(s) will be seized at the border. That is undebatable. That no doubt would make Samsung and Motorola nervous.
What is interesting is how Apple will respond. Generally, if the plaintiff gets the upper hand at the ITC, you will quickly see a settlement in favor of the plaintiff. However, it is unclear if Apple is willing to settle for a licensing fee or will it take a riskier approach and continue to push for the ban on imported products. If the ITC ultimately rules in Apple's favor and the matter isn't settled, HTC's offending products will be banned as that is the whole purpose of the ITC.
Right now, HTC undoubtedly is likely willing to pay Apple licensing fees (as HTC is doing with Microsoft). I think Apple would be smart to take it. If Apple rejects receiving licensing fees, and ultimately loses, it will take some of the wind out of its conflict with Motorola and Samsung. Further, if HTC is successful with any patents claims against Apple with the ITC, Apple would have more to loss if the iPhone was banned from the US.
It might cost more to build in the US, but doing so would shut these ITC battles down.
Originally Posted by guch20
To the people gloating about this: None of us are patent lawyers or judges, and none of us really have any clue what any of this means in the long run, but let's just stop with the talk about Android being in trouble somehow. This isn't going to stop Android from spreading, and it's certainly not going to stop companies from using Android.
Realistically, we can expect some kind of payment and/or cross-licensing deal to happen, and that will be the end of it. Android will continue to operate as a cheap, utilitarian, good-enough, wannabe rip-off of iOS, and Google will continue to rake in billions by selling the information they gather from people's texts, emails, searches, and map queries.
This changes nothing.