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Customs Review Holds Up 2 HTC Phones

5/17/2012 09:33:53 AM Eastern

Taoyuan, Taiwan - U.S. customs
officials have blocked imports of HTC's One X 4G phone for the AT&T network
and the Evo 4G LTE for the Sprint network to determine whether they infringe on
an Apple patent.

Although HTC did not say how long
it expects the customs review to take, the company said, "We believe we are in
compliance with the ruling, and HTC is working closely with customs to secure
approval."

 The review will delay Sprint's planned launch
tomorrow of the $199 Evo 4G LTE. For its part, AT&T began selling the $199
One X on May 6, but the carrier hasn't yet responded to an inquiry on how many
days or weeks of inventory is available if the review takes an extended time.

 
The patent in question was part of an Apple complaint before the
International Trade Commission (ITC), which last December barred HTC from
importing select phones using the patent starting April 19. At the time, HTC
said it would modify the phones found to be in violation to eliminate the
patented technology.

A customs
finding that the two phones are still using the patent could affect imports of
HTC's other One-series phones. The HTC One S was supposed to become available
through T-Mobile sometime in the spring, and the One V is planned for carriers
C-Spire, Cincinnati Bell, MetroPCS, U.S. Cellular and Virgin Mobile. Their prices
and availability dates haven't been announced.

 

A T-Mobile spokesperson, however, said the carrier "does not anticipate any impact to our business regarding availability of the HTC One S."