This isn't directly Verizon news, but it is definitely relevant if you are an Android or HTC fan. It looks like the Apple patent rulings against HTC from the ITC back in December have come back to bite them. According to reports, the HTC One X and Sprint's Evo 4G LTE have been held up in U.S. Customs because of the patent ruling, which banned the importation of any device from HTC that violates Apple's patent #5,946,647. This patent pertains to the "UI behavior that pulls up a menu in response to a user selecting a recognizable numeric sequence or string of text like a phone number or email address and so it could be corrected via a software update." The ruling was set to go in effect on April 19th and HTC had until then to adjust their software to get around the issue. Unfortunately, it has been confirmed that these new phones appear to behave in a way that still violates the patent. HTC issued a press statement regarding the issue,
Here's a quote from The Verge article with some more details,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.
It looks like HTC will be in limbo until this can get resolved. In the mean-time, the online stock for the HTC One X has dried up and a refresh of new stock now unlikely. It is also possible that this will delay the launch of the HTC EVO 4G LTE for Sprint that was scheduled for May 18th. It's frustrating to see that Apple's patent war is finally doing some damage, although the flip-side argument is that HTC had ample time to make the adjustment to their software. Could it be that they thought they made the change, but it turned out to be unsatisfactory?Although the ITC order was handed down before the One X was even announced at Mobile World Congress, it's open-ended enough to block importation of any HTC Android device — the ITC broadly prohibited the importation of HTC "personal data and mobile communications devices" running Android that infringe the '647 patent. Customs and Border Protection is in charge of executing the order, and it's allowed to handle things pretty much any way it wants; there are really no formal rules governing how exclusion orders are interpreted or enforced. What's more, the final enforcement instructions delivered by Customs to its officers are totally classified — they're even excluded from Freedom of Information Act requests. At this point HTC is basically in limbo while it waits for Customs to issue a decision.
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Update: It looks like the Sprint version of the phone will be delayed, or at least Sprint is preparing for the possibility. They recently changed their website with updated info. Now, instead of the May 18th launch date prominently shown on the front page, they simply state, "Coming Soon."
Source: Android.net via The Verge