Back in December you might recall that the International Trade Commission ruled that HTC was infringing upon one of Apple’s patents (#5,946,647 if you must know) and a ban was to be placed on the importation of a number of HTC devices.
The good news for HTC was that the ban wasn’t immediate and they had until April 19th to rectify the situation or face the ban on a number of their devices. Further good news is that the patent in question was for the UI behavior that pulls up a menu in response to a user selecting a recognizable numeric sequence or string of text like a phone number or email address and so it could be corrected via a software update.
Well April 19th came and went without any grave consequences, but HTC confirmed in a press release this afternoon that both the AT&T One X and Sprint EVO 4G LTE are now being held by US Customs as a result of the ITC exclusion order.
The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order. We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval. The HTC One X and HTC Evo 4G LTE have been received enthusiastically by customers and we appreciate their patience as we work to get these products into their hands as soon as possible.
No word yet on whether this will delay the May 18th launch of the Evo 4G LTE on Sprint and while the AT&T One X has made it out to some users in its first week of availability the stock has already dried up online and with no new stock coming in stores will likely follow soon.
Nick Gray, our resident HTC addict, has both an AT&T One X and T-Mobile One S at the moment and verified that both still launch the dialer when selecting a phone number which would seem to be in conflict with the ITC’s ruling.
It’s unfortunate to see this great hardware from HTC held up by a seemingly trivial software detail and it seems impossible that with this ITC exclusion order hanging over their heads that HTC wouldn’t have dealt with the issue by now.
We’ll update you as we find out more.
Update: The launch of the Sprint Evo 4G LTE has been postponed with Sprint now simply indicating that it will be “coming soon.”