HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE halted at U.S. border, may be due to Apple litigation

HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE halted at U.S. border, may be due to Apple litigation

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.

Source: The Verge, Android Central

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE halted at U.S. border, may be due to Apple litigation

43 Comments

oh yeah the one x looks like the iphone lol if thats the case my tv looks like an iphone

Well your droid looked like a BlackBerry before Apple busted onto the scene with iPhone.

Every single smartphone has this capability. Now Apple finds something that they never did anything with in their portfolio from 12 years ago and now insist that Smartphones be held up at the border over this? It's clear to me this is only showing that not only the patent system is broken, but Apple will use gestapo tactics to get their competiton vaporized, and blind fanboys will approve.

Apple just keeps proving how silly some of these "patents" are. Technology patents - for silly things like hyperlinks in certain places, or "one click shopping", etc., are utter nonsense and the more of the legal systems time and money is wasted on these types of peeing contests by billion dollar corporations, the sooner that type of ridiculous patent will finally go away.

Apple is such a dictator in the mobile industry seriously. I thought competition was supposed to be a clean fight with no dirty moves? Apple is so butt hurt about the One X that it had to get the US customs into this and I'm no Android fanboy neither have I owned an android device before, just hate dirty competitors..

Apple just hates that people are moving to phones that cost less sp apple just wants to sue everyone APPLE SUCKS BLACKBERRY ROCKS!

Palm Phones had the feature in question long before Apple did. So why was Apple allowed to take this patent in the first place? It should be invalidated.

Agreed. Apple thinks it invented the phone! They basically but together an awesome package, but to say they invented walking and talking is crazy. They don't even make or invent the screens, or processors. They were using Samsung chips!!! A bunch of dirty, greedy assholes.

Apple is becoming exactly what they warned against in the 1984 commercial. They want to make things better for the consumer, but they are limiting the consumer's choices.

I am honestly shocked by the responses that I'm seeing. Apple is asking to be compensated for technology that they have a patent for. If you created something and people started using it would you just be cool with that or would you want to be rich like Alexander Graham Bell became after he created the phone? Would you give away what you created freely or would you want a billion like Bill Gates or the Facebook guy? I'm sure that some of you will say that its not the same or that you'd give it away but you are all lying to yourselves. If you created something that people wanted to use then you would want to reap the benefits that came with being the creator.

Alexander Graham Bell didn't invent the phone, he just got the patent for it. Many people credit Philipp Reis with actually inventing the ideas that Bell used in his device.
Ironically, by invoking the name of Alexander Graham Bell, you're actually proving the point of many people who believe our current system of patents is quite broken.

Lots of trolls on iMore. I just hope Google and Microsoft and Samsung and HTC are paying them well. Life is too short.

For the record, I invented "something" and lots of people are using it -- all for free. It's a good feeling knowing that your software helps others.

If that is the case then Apple owes Motorola a lot of money. Motorola owns the majority of patents in cell phone technology (this is why google is buying Motorola mobility) but in recent law suits Apple claims the patents cant be up held because they apply to a manditory system for cell phones. Its like Ford owning patents on steering wheels or 4 wheeled cars, he industry wont be able to compete without access to those patents. So if Motorlaa can't throw its weight around on industry norms then Apple needs to sit down and shut up about google "stealing" the phone from Apple.

I think the best solution is HTC compensate Apple for these patents. The deal made between HTC and Microsoft was a good example, which HTC should pay $5 to Microsoft for each android phone. Innovative ideas are not free, however, Patenting them as a nuclear weapon to eliminate the rivals is not a good move.

Apple didn't invent the smartphone, I had a blackberry 5000 series years before apple came to the market. They didn't Invent the touchscreen either. They built on the previous generations of hardware, such as blackberry, palm and windows mobile. Do you see apple paying them royalties? And the patent in question was the ability to click on hyperlinks within a phone's browser, which I could also do on my my berry before the first Iphone ever came out. Why do all you people seem to think Apple invents everything they sell?
This is just like the 1984 Apple commercial except the drones are tapping away on their iphones and the runner is throwing an Android through the screen of a giant ipad. You all make me sick with your stupidity.

Not well said, actually. His remark is quite small-minded. The primary problem is that he is comparing a device controlled by button presses over a device controlled by heat-sensors and motion. Apple is suing over how those links and elements are touched and how the OS is interacted with. Quite a different beast from simply pressing buttons in keyboard fashion.

Seeing as apple didn't invent the touchscreen, I'd say your point is groundless. Is apple paying previous smartphone designers for things like having apps on a mobile device, using internet on a mobile device or sending email on a mobile device? No. And they claim that Motorola's patents are too restrictive so they shouldn't have to obey them. You can't have it both ways, buddy.

As a former longtime BlackBerry user, this comment made me smile. One of the reasons I held off on getting an iPhone and held onto my BB as long as I did was that at the time, my BB 8320 could do more things than the early iPhones (cut & paste, for starters). It wasn't as cool or elegant as the iPhone, but it got the job done. I didn't get an iPhone until iOS had matured enough to where it did everything my BB did and more. And even then there were some areas (e.g. e-mail) where my old BB still held its own.
"This is just like the 1984 Apple commercial except the drones are tapping away on their iphones and the runner is throwing an Android through the screen of a giant ipad."
Classic... That imagery is even more ironic considering how big and powerful Apple has become nowadays.

+1
With that said, would you prefer he throw a device SANDWICHED in GLASS? GLASS! THE STUFF WE MADE FOR ACTION-HEROES TO JUMP THROUGH!

That depends on the Android device being thrown; if it's a Samsung phone or tablet, most likely it'd be plastic, and would just bounce harmlessly off the movie screen.

HTC sucks. Sense sucks. The patent system sucks. But Apple won this round and HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE are held up at the docs. Thing is, how are they going to check every single phone to see if they violate these patents by use of hyperlinks in the messaging app and browser? That could take quite some time. Does customs have the manpower to dedicate to such a task? If they don't, this will definitely hurt HTC's bottom line. HTC's popularity is not what it once was and this is just adding nails to the coffin. Apple defended a patent and HTC is likely going to end up paying a royalty to get this over with quickly. HTC can't really afford to wait this out and make their lawyers richer.

Lol, my HTC One X runs circles around your piece of crap Iphone. It's hardware is more than twice as powerful, It looks sexier, and for one thing it can play flash.

Who cares about your HTC One X? What you need are some doggie downers or a switch to Decafe, Android Troll. No one is standing in line to buy an HTC One X. See you in October when everyone's attention is on the new iPhone and everyone has forgotten about your lovely HTC Phone and the company who makes it, assuming they get any more past customs by then. HAH!!!

Actually they were standing in line. Every store in my community was sold out on day one. That didn't even happen with iphone 4 here when it came out. Pretty obvious apple feels threatened by a superior product.

You assume that Apple has some great innovation in the pipe. If they did, why act out of fear? Apple only tells us about themselves when they block off another competing product. If they feel secure in their position and let consumers decide what product is superior, not playing games like this, over a patent that Apple should have not been granted and that Apple didn't care about for 12 years but suddenly use to patent troll.

I have owned every single Iphone since 2007. I would always be the first person to defend Apple's products and features. However...as of a week ago, I made the switch to HTC One X, and while I still like my IPhones, I must say my HTC One X is far more superior in every way. This includes hardware and software. I am not a troll...just an honest user of both products.

Crapple doesn't like competition. Palm/Hp could sue the socks off of crapple but they don't. and do you know why??? because they are not a bunch of whinny bitches

As the guy people often ask about phones, I try to remain non-biased. My last two recommendations were for the iPhone even though I now use android. I will probably still recommend IOS, but Apple is making it harder to remain open minded. I hate lawsuits even more than I hate Samsung commercials. Alienating people is the usual effect, with little gain to show.

This is utter bs. The One X is a great phone and Apple has purposely did it just for this phone. Honestly, how many other phones are out there that all do this? O wait, all of them. Give me a break Apple. Grow up, improve your phones and you won't have to whine to the government about trivial crap like this.

Looks to me more like HTC and US Customs are at fault here than Apple. Sure, Apple brought the lawsuit, but HTC claims to have removed the offending bits and was granted an extension to go though the appropriate dance with the government.
So at this point this is a problem either with HTC not following the correct procedures, or US Customs for not responding within a reasonable amount of time. As someone who has dealt with my fair share of government rules, regulations, and paperwork myself, my bet is both share some blame. It's not like Apple called the docks and demanded the hold, as many people here seem to be assuming.
That said, the lawsuit itself is also stupid. My old Palm had this functionality on a touch screen long before Apple.

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