HTC's new Android flagships, the HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE, have reportedly been stalled at U.S. customs, and may not hit American stores as early as hoped, perhaps due to an International Trade Council (ITC) exclusion order... granted to Apple last December.
Apple sued HTC for patent infringement over their Android implementation, and HTC has countersued Apple. This particular legal delay could be over HTC's use of hyperlinks in the messaging app and browser. HTC has reportedly worked around these "trivial" issues, but in keeping with the ITC order, customs is going to check and make double-dog sure. If everything works out, and provided customs doesn't take their sweet time over it, our friends over at Android Central shouldn't have too long to wait before they get their droidy little hands on them.
Here's HTC's statement:
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.
Apple's lawsuits against HTC -- and Samsung and Motorola -- stem from Apple's feeling that Android was "grand theft" of iPhone intellectual property. Basically, they believe Google partnered with Apple, had their then-CEO Eric Schmidt on Apple's board, and then not only stole Apple's ideas about smartphone technology, but gave them away "promiscuously".
The late Steve Jobs reportedly vowed to go "thermonuclear" over Android, and spend every dime in Apple's tens of billions of dollars in the bank to reap horrible vengeance upon them.
Current Apple CEO Tim Cook has thus far been much calmer, but every bit as deadly about patent litigation, saying Apple shouldn't be the developers for the whole world.
Results to date have varied for Apple -- literally they've won some and lost some -- but few if any decisive rulings have been made.
As Jerry Hildenbrand often says, this will all likely be resolved in the future by one rich company trading money with another rich company.
In the meantime, HTC's next generation of Android phones are on hold, drinking border coffee. Yikes.