Tuesday, May 29, 2012

U.S. Customs Clears HTC One X, Evo 4G LTE for Sale

U.S. Customs Clears HTC One X, Evo 4G LTE for Sale:

The HTC One X was blocked from being sold in the U.S. by Customs agents for nearly a month. But the phone is in the clear now. Photo: Jon Synder/Wired
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have lifted a nearly month long blockade of HTC’s two newest smartphones, the One X and the Evo 4G LTE.
“HTC has completed the review process with US Customs and HTC devices have been released, as they are in compliance with the ITC’s ruling,” the Chinese phone maker told Wired in an email. “Future shipments should continue to enter the U.S. and we are confident that we will soon be able to meet the demand for our products.”
Tom Harlin, an HTC spokesman, said the company wasn’t sure how long it would take to get its phones from Customs to retailers and carriers. But the company is working on getting the new phones on store shelves as soon as possible.
Customs officials enforced the blockade at the request of the U.S. International Trade Commission, which ruled in December that some HTC smartphones running Google’s Android operating system violated a 1996 Apple patent on a data-detecting function found in nearly all modern handsets.
The patent — U.S. patent number 5,946,647 — covered a method to automatically convert phone numbers and URLs in e-mails and text messages into live links that directly open other apps, such as a phone dialer or web browser.
Before the blockade went into effect, HTC said it had fixed the way it deals with links to computer-generated data so as to avoid infringing on the Apple patent. But the blockade went into place anyway since Customs officials had to inspect the new phones to make sure they were clear of the ITC’s ruling.
The Customs review, which went into effect on Aprril 19, resulted in the Evo 4G LTE missing its May 18 retail debut through Sprint, and a shortage of One X handsets reaching AT&T.
Last week, Customs officials approved some, but not all, of the blocked phones for sale. Now, as of Tuesday, all of the handsets are in the clear.

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