New shipments of two major HTC smartphones in the US, the HTC One X and the HTC 4G LTE, are now up in the air. The Verge reports that US Customs is holding up shipments of both phones while it looks into a patent violation claim made by Apple.
The battle actually began in December when the International Trade Commission ruled that the messaging app and browser in the Android OS infringed on a patent owned by Apple. The ITC set up a ban of all products that contained that software. That ban actually went into effect on April 19th.
Now it looks like US Customs is checking to make sure that the HTC One X and the HTC 4G LTE don't have software that violates Apple's patent. In a statement, HTC said:
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.
The HTC EVO 4G LTE was supposed to go on sale in the US via Sprint on Friday, May 18th for $199. The HTC One X went on sale on May 8th at AT&T. The AT&T website shows the phone as currently out of stock.