HTC this evening has confirmed in a statement to Android Central (and everybody else, we imagine) that importation of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE handsets have been delayed at the U.S. border because of a customs review. As first reported by The Verge, this likely stems from the ITC exclusion order Apple was granted last December over hyperlinks in the messaging app and browser.
HTC's official 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.
HTC has said that the issues raised by Apple in front of the ITC were trivial and would be removed from their products, but customs must review the shipments coming in after the April 19 deadline set in place by the ITC. We hope HTC's confidence is warranted, and we see the phones on the shelf, where they belong.
Opines Rene Ritchie at our sister site, iMore.com:
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.
Currently, the HTC One X is out of stock on AT&T's website, and it looks like it may stay that way for the near future. The EVO 4G LTE is due to go on sale at 8 a.m. Friday. The status of in-store stock is unclear. A Sprint spokesperson referred questions on the delay to HTC.
Can we fix the bullshit patent and trademark office yet?