Will HTC’s New Release Give Apple Some Phone Pressure?

HTC smartphones under review by U.S. Customs due to an Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) patent dispute have finally begun being released for an entry into the market. HTC said in an investor statement that “some models” of its smartphones had started coming into the U.S. through customs review, though it did not specify the models.

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“Each imported HTC model must be reviewed by Customs and will be released once Customs officials have completed the inspection,” the Taiwan-based vendor wrote on its website. “Some models have gone through inspection and been released to our carriers customers. We don’t have the status of each specific device model at this time, but we are working closely with Customs. We remain confident that this issue will be resolved soon.”

The company had earlier warned of a delay in availability of its HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE smartphones because of an International Trade Commission order. The world body had ruled in December that HTC devices infringed on an Apple patent regarding a click-to-call feature that automatically created links for phone numbers and e-mail addresses. The ban had been delayed so the Taiwan company could create a workaround solution for its Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android phones and only came into effect on April 19.

AT&T (NYSE:T) began selling the HTC One X on May 6, but the product is currently listed as out of stock on the carrier’s website. The HTC EVO 4G LTE for Sprint (NYSE:S) was set to go on sale on May 18.

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