Are you feeling the squeeze yet? The AT&T One X and EVO 4G LTE are facing stock shortages in the United States thanks to a block at customs ordered by the ITC back in December. HTC was found to infringe on one of Apple’s patents relating to context menus used when select phone numbers or email addresses. It hasn’t been clear exactly when the ban will be lifted, but HTC has released a statement saying that some phones have slipped through customs already.
Posting to the HTC investor website, the company describes how each phone model must undergo inspection by custom officials to ensure that they no longer infringe on Apple’s patent. It’s already been revealed that HTC has modified its Android ROM in the US to remove such context menus, instead letting users change which apps are launched in Settings. The full statement reads:
Each imported HTC model must be reviewed by Customs and will be released once Customs officials have completed the inspection. 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.
That might explain why the HTC One S has managed to slip through to T-Mobile, since the December ruling doesn’t single out specific HTC phones, only future handsets. The One X and EVO 4G LTE, meanwhile, may not have been inspected yet, hence the delays in getting them out of customs and into the hands of customers. Still, HTC has removed the offending action from Android's software, so it’s down to customs to give the phones the all clear at this point.