May 15 AT 9:13 PM Sean Riley 42 Comments

HTC One X and Evo 4G LTE delayed by US Customs over Apple patent ruling


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.”

Source: The Verge

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • Techrocket9


    I will be very very unhappy if my phone does not arrive by Friday as promised.

    • jonathan3579

      This ban is total bullshit. It only makes sense to be given options on what to do with street addresses, phone numbers, emails, etc…

      • Derek

        Exactly, that’s common sense. You can’t patent common sense. Also, apple was NOT the first phone/mobile device to do this. Win mobile devices have been doing this years before icrap came out. I had a Samsung flip phone from like 2000 that would let you click on phone numbers and addresses inside of text messages or on the mini browser and bring up a menu. Ridiculous how Apple gets away with patenting the crap they do.

        • wakkoman

          They patented it back in 1996 genius. Do some research.

          • Derek

            Well then their patent has expired. Design patents are only valid for 14 years. That means it expired in 2010.

          • HeLLO

            Oh shit will you look at that it’s wakkoshit.The same retard who trolls phandroid is also on here.So once again the loser with no life keeps on trolling on Android websites with his Apple BS.

  • Dr.Carpy

    This annoys me in the sense that the people that don’t get to buy this phone aren’t going to buy an iPhone. So why delay the release Apple? Just another way Apple abuses the industry with plethora of nonsensical lawsuits and nuisance lawsuits.

    • Guest

      > Just another way Apple abuses the industry with plethora of nonsensical lawsuits and nuisance lawsuits.

      If the federal patent office foolishly issues the patent… and a court of law foolishly agrees… it’s all Apple’s fault????

      If I offered you 1 million dollars for one of your legal patents… you would refuse the money????

      • Dr.Carpy

        This is where Apple is sneaky, reckless and some sort of oversight needs to be instituted. Several companies have referenced said patent, why now hold up these competitive phones? Plain and simple to malign HTC. Does Apple need to cash in another million bucks? Nope, they’re wasting that on hourly lawyer retention. These ambiguous patents from the nineties are silly. Would anyone confuse HTC One X for the iPhone 4S? Absolutely not. So Apple should be told to get lost.

      • shnuffle

        apart from that being corrupt, apples patents shouldn’t have been permitted in the first place. most of them seem to be stupidly simple things that has already been in use but nobody has actually had them patented. I mean come on! patenting a pop-up… wtf?!

        • Derek

          And what gets me, is how do HTC’s lawyers not fight the actual patent on prior art. Clicking on a phone number or email address or regular address has been around in mobile devices long before icrap came out. You cannot patent something that’s already been in prior existence and cannot patent something that is plainly obvious. Like how obvious is it that when you click on a phone number that it brings up the dialer on a mobile phone. Duhhhh.

  • fletchtb

    Ridiculous. Plain and simple!

  • YMS123

    Good job Apple, make a bunch of people wait for their new phone, trust me they weren’t planning on getting anything from you anyway.

  • Nathan D.

    This is why I don’t like apple in any shape, size, or form. They just bully other companies around until they get what they want. Apple is so annoying with it patent battles at android manufacturers.

    • kazahani

      Sadly, it seems to be an effective strategy for them. They’ve ridden patent trolling so hard that they are now the largest corporation in the world.

  • redraider133

    Man this is crazy. Hopefully they can get this straightened out ASAP because they already have some one X on at&t that people have so why not just let them all in. And why is it just the ONE X and not the ONE S??

  • KC

    The very reasons why I never touch Apple’s products – iPhoney.

    How come nobody sue Apple back for the notification alert in the status bar that iPhoney copied from Android? Just to give the phoney Apple a taste of their own medicine.

    The world knows that Apple stole alot of ideas from others. Really bad karma for Apple and all their iPhonies.

    • Jedediah Sweetser

      because no Android (Hardware or software) developer needs too. Android is so broad and has so many different configurations that please people, they don’t need to spend the money to fight for it. Apple has one product – ONE. and if that ONE product gets rendered obsolete before their next one because the competition surpasses them; their sunk. If Apple had more products in people’s hands, it’d be less of an issue for them. Iphone made Apple what it is in this and last decade, before that Apple was a niche product.

    • abusedtortoise

      Google doesn’t own the patent for the notification alert yet. They filed in 2009 but are awaiting for the patent office to deem it theirs (these things take a long time to process).

  • myandroid99

    hope the evo makes it across…

  • halo0

    I have a gray att one x I am selling…

    • jonathan3579

      You probably should have gone with the white one. ;)

      • halo0

        Yeah the white is quite sexy but I just couldn’t see myself using a white phone every day.

    • Kevin

      Why are you selling? Just curious, as I think it’s the best phone I’ve ever had.

      • halo0

        I do love it, don’t get me wrong. The biggest reason I’m selling is because of the ergonomics. It’s incredibly flat right up to the edges and coupled with the super thin, sharp body it’s very hard to hold onto with one hand. It’s only a couple of mm wider than my gnex yet it feels MUCH wider. Also with the capacitive buttons and ICS, there is often a single gigantic menu button spanning the bottom of the screen which is pretty annoying. The screen is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen though.

      • halo0

        Oh, I forgot the other big reason I don’t like it. The power button placement is horrible. Very difficult and awkward to press while holding the phone with one hand. I don’t understand why HTC keeps putting it there instead of the perfect placement used by Samsung on the Gnex.

  • Katt50

    And this is actually the reason I won’t buy an Apple product. Bunch of money hungry fools.
    Wonder if Samsung will be trying to get the Galaxy S out quicker…

  • jamal adam

    This patent stuff is getting out of hand. It’s not just hurting companies like HTC but it also affects us customers, who don’t really care for iPhones and other Apple products because our interests and love for smartphones lie elsewhere. It is really frustrating.

  • Kaote

    As Apple continues these tactics, the ban on their products will remain in my household.

  • Derek

    This is a load of crap! 12 million illegals in this country and ICE is holding up shipments of cell phones for greedy Apple.

  • Derek

    How in the world did Apple patent 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”

    WTF!!?? I’ve had PDA’s that performed that same action LONG before the iphone was a twinkle in Steve Jobs’ eye. What sort of crappy patent lawyers does HTC have? This should have been shot down immediately under prior art. I had a win mobile phone back in like 2003 that would bring up the dialer when you clicked on a phone number or bring up the email app when you click on an email address. Our patent system is now broken…just like every other department in our government.

    • wakkoman

      It has nothing to do with the iphone, you idiot. The patent was filed back in 1996.

  • dVyper

    Completely unfair…

  • Pissed

    Are you fucking Serious Apple? This is going to make more people want HTC phones now & a public relations nightmare for Apple

  • glennw

    What a major bummer. I was really looking forward to receiving my new HTC Evo 4G LTE this week.

  • Orion78

    Yeah keep it up crapple. You’re just making the EVO more popular. I’m getting this phone whether you like it or not. This shows you how badass the One series are. Crapple is scared.

  • mlynch01

    The Verge shows that the issue has been addressed by HTC in these phones. Lets hope ITC doesn’t require them to do more. Hope its not a prob to post the link.

  • waiting out HTC

    Apple is only making a worse nam for themselves as a selfish compnay that will pull any strings that it can to make other comapnies miserable on there behalf. They think this will get them more customers well it seems to be that it has back fired on them, as long as those of us that pre ordered or are awiating delivery to store don’t give up waiting and go for the iphone…..which personally I think the iphone is a waste of money seeing that if there is any kind of issue with the iphone you have to send the entire phone back even a battery problem have stupid!! With that b eing said I hope this problem is resolved soon and my phone is on its way for me to play with!!!

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  • waiting out HTC

    Ok I pre ordered from Best Buy and got the email saying release on the 23rd and then another email saying that was the wroong info….so does anyone have any information on anything? Sprint sure as hell want tell you anythiig!

  • mcm180

    Whaaaat??? That’s ridiculous & outrageous!!!!