Ina Fried

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HTC Says Some New Products Are Making Their Way Through U.S. Customs

Taiwanese phone maker HTC said on Sunday that some of its new products are making it through customs, but the company also noted that each model it sends to the U.S. must pass through an inspection.

The scrutiny is the result of an exclusion order obtained by Apple in its patent dispute with HTC. As a result of the International Trade Commission order, HTC is prohibited from importing certain products found to infringe on an Apple patent.

U.S. Customs is responsible for inspecting HTC’s shipments to the U.S., and the company said last week that the inspections would delay the launch of Sprint’s HTC Evo 4G LTE and also slow shipments of the HTC One X, a phone already on sale through AT&T.

“Each imported HTC model must be reviewed by customs and will be released once customs officials have completed the inspection,” HTC said in a statement on Sunday that was posted on its investor relations site. “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 question, however, is what impact the holdup will have, both in terms of lost sales and as a potential blow to HTC’s momentum. The company had been counting on the HTC One and its variants to help it return to growth.

After seeing its quarterly sales double year-over-year levels through the first half of last year, HTC sales hit a wall in the second half, amid heightened competition from Samsung and others.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus