Apple gets new HTC devices held by Customs; maybe I will see LTE network before the EVO 4G LTE

Apple gets new HTC devices held by Customs; maybe I will see LTE network before the EVO 4G LTE

Summary: The lawsuits in the mobile space are plentiful and it looks like this one from Apple against HTC has some real teeth to it as HTC's newest devices are being held up in Customs for an indefinite period of time.

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Last month I wrote about the HTC EVO 4G LTE and wondered if it may have me adding Sprint to my collection yet again. After returning my Nokia Lumia 900 and canceling my AT&T contract, I pre-ordered an EVO 4G LTE primarily because the HTC One X is fantastic (EVO 4G LTE is similar and better with microSD and removable battery) and I wanted unlimited data. I won't see LTE here in Seattle for a while and after getting an email from HTC maybe I won't even see the HTC EVO 4G LTE until the network goes live.

As part of the Apple lawsuit against HTC, the HTC EVO 4G LTE and HTC One X are currently being held by U.S. Customs and we have no idea when they might be released to the public. I haven't heard anything from Sprint or AT&T yet on what their plans are and know that Sprint just issued several press releases announcing that stores were opening early on Friday for the EVO 4G LTE. An HTC spokesperson provided the following quote:

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.

I am not a lawyer and won't begin to judge one company over another in regards to what should be protected and not copied, but it's sad to see HTC's unique designs be held up from consumers. The only good thing here is that I might see the LTE network launch before I actually get my device.

UPDATE: I understand one of the 2 patented issues holding things up is the ability to tap a phone number on a web page or email and activate the phone dialer. What mobile OS DOESN'T support this? It is a basic function that everyone expects on a smartphone and I sure hope HTC doesn't actually have to remove this capability to get the phones into the U.S. for sale.

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Topics: HTC, Apple, Mobility, Networking

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12 comments
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  • Disappointed

    These are outstanding phones. I wish Apple would compete in the marketplace rather than competing in the courts. I've been using HTC phones and wouldn't chose an Iphone because the technology is so dated. i cannot believe Apple does not yet support 4G. Release these phones and let people enjoy the latest technology without the corporate legal games.
    larsonjs
    • Try to have a little perspective

      "I wish Apple would compete in the marketplace rather than competing in the courts."

      I am not particularly enamoured with the various litigation between rival companies at the moment; and that includes the actions being taken by Apple. However, that statement is just patently wrong! Apple IS competing in the market . . . and it is doing so very well. Apple have huge sales, even without the litigation
      Wakemewhentrollsgone
      • Also, Apple's competitors should compete without infringing Apple's patents

        ... and designs.

        HTC will update their devices to avoid infringements and everything will be fine then.
        DDERSSS
      • @DeRSSS

        HTC have already changed their code so they aren't infringing. To claim that HTC are copying Apple's designs suggests you haven't seen a HTC phone in person. I've had HTC phones for several years (and also have had 3 iPhones), and never once have I seen a HTC phone that 'copied' an iPhone. HTC have always had a clearly different design asthestic (and I think the best of all Android phones). Even the ITC found in HTC's favour on 9 out of the 10 claims Apple made against HTC. This patent (which is arguably a very weak one in terms of the 'inventive and innovative step' required for patents, and the validity of the actual patent has not yet been challenged) has actually been removed by HTC.
        astrosodi
    • Apple is competing

      And selling the #1 mobile phone. The iPhone sells more than any 1 Android phone.

      But they are not taking those that rip them off lightly and that's a good thing. Samsung's TouchWiz is almost a 99.99% clone of iOS....
      itguy10
      • really?

        Yes they sell more iPhone 4S than any other single Android, but as a whole the Android OS sells more phones than iOS phones. Search Google or Bing for sales figures and it's pretty clear.

        And what source do you have for TouchWiz being a 99.99% clone? Back up your opinions with a source so we can take you seriously!
        brentgee
      • Actually .... they have the #1, #2 and #3 spot

        Apple has the top 3 selling smartphones.

        And yes ... Android OS is in many phones "sold" .... and most are crapware given away for free as part of a contract.
        wackoae
  • Matthew wishes all trade laws abolished. Consumers without morals cheer.

    If one is truly saddened over this issue than that person's sentiments are sympathetic towards that extreme policy stated above.

    Let's let the courts decide this issue before expending any emotional energy regarding this product. Just saying.
    kenosha77a
  • Prepare to be disappointed!

    Sprint's EV-DO speed is appalling.

    Sprint shouldn't market it as 3G because it's just as fast as AT&T's EDGE.
    anonymous
  • Some legal aspect I don't see?

    But it seems Apple is claiming a patent on clicking an "hyperlink" on a touch sensitive screen. Is there that significant of a difference between clicking the link with a mouse pointer and touching it with my finger?

    Or are they claiming a patent on a piece of software that recognizes a phone number or URL and converts it to a clickable link? Either way, that tech has been around for years, so I don't think Apple should be able to claim a patent on it unless they actually created the same tech that is used on **ALL** OSs.
    gevander
  • Ah, sure. Not!

    " I understand one of the 2 patented issues holding things up is the ability to tap a phone number on a web page or email and activate the phone dialer. What mobile OS DOESN???T support this? It is a basic function that everyone expects on a smartphone..."

    According to the patents only iPhone should have this. If people want this, they should pay for an Apple device with this feature. If Apple licenses this to others, then those units should have it in. Patents are there to protect people's/companies ideas. There will always be bootleggers stealing others property to make a buck. I am glad the HTC bootleggers are getting caught!
    TimeForAChangeToBetter
    • Patents

      I find the patent in question dubious, (the basic functionality has been in use long before Apple "invented" it ;) ) but Apple were the first to patent the technology. It serves as a great example of why software patents all too often stifle progress and competition.

      Apple appear to be very good at taking two or more existing technologies, linking them together into a process, and patenting it.

      I have no problem with Apple suing bootleggers for "Copyright Infringement". Alas, IMHO, pantents are more open and generic than copyright, and tend to be more profitable in court, too.
      m.finlay@...