Sprint’s next flagship smartphone is trapped in limbo. The HTC Evo 4G LTE is embroiled in a long-running patent dispute between Apple and HTC, and is currently being held by U.S. Customs.
Apple vs. HTC
In December, the International Trade Commission ruled that some HTC devices infringed on a patent held by Apple. The patent in question gives the iPhone-maker exclusive rights to have phone numbers and addresses in the text of an email be automatically recognized for what they are and hyperlinked to appropriate apps.
HTC says that its products are no longer infringing, but the U.S. Customs Service nevertheless is required by the ITC’s exclusion order to check to be sure, as the order has not yet been rescinded.
Sprint customers who want to buy the HTC Evo 4G LTE are caught in the middle. There is no word on when the launch of this smartphone will be, other than a statement from HTC that it “is working closely with Customs to secure approval.” Sprint says the device is “Coming Soon” but has stopped taking pre-orders for it.
More About the HTC Evo 4g LTE
This smartphone is going to sport a 4.7-inch display, and will be powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor. It will run Android OS 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with HTC’s Sense 4 overlay
Other features are going to include Global Beats Audio, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and a kickstand.
As its name makes clear, this phone will be one of Sprint’s first with 4G LTE, even though this service is not yet available. The carrier will begin rolling out LTE service by the middle of this year, with the process stretching out into 2013 and beyond.