The HTC Evo 4G LTE, held in U.S. customs following a patent dispute with Apple, is finally on its way to Sprint and waiting customers. In potentially more bad luck for HTC, the Samsung Galaxy S III can now be preordered on Amazon.
HTCs newest Android
smartphone, the Evo 4G LTE, has received approval from U.S. customs and is
headed for waiting customers, Dow Jones
reported May 22, citing a person familiar with the situation.
The Taiwanese smartphone maker
has faced falling revenue and market share in recent quarters, as it struggles
to compete against Samsungs slew of Android-running smartphones and the Apple
iPhone, among other devices. Working to regain some of the mojo it found last
spring with its first Evo 4G smartphone, this spring it introduced the Evo 4G LTE
(Long-Term Evolution) and the One X smartphones.
While the phones have been
building some momentum with early orders, HTC faced a new challenge in the form
of a patent dispute with Apple. The Evo 4G LTE had a promised sale date of May
18, but when an order issued by the International Trade Commission in December
took effect April 19, the
phones were held up at sea before reaching U.S. shores
"HTC said last week
it had worked around the design of the new phone to avoid the disputed
technology that was ruled to be in violation of a patent held by Apple,"
Dow Jones reported.
Sprint has also updated a blog
for subscribers who preordered the Evo 4G LTE, telling them: "Your
wait is almost over! Sprint expects to begin shipping HTC Evo 4G LTE for
arrival on or around Thursday, May 24 to customers who preordered the device
online from Sprint."
On May 16, the blog had
included a statement from HTC, saying, "We believe we are in compliance
with the ruling and HTC is working closely with customs to secure approval."
Two days later, Best Buy contacted customers who had preordered the phone to
say it wouldnt arrive on time, as it first expected.
HTC didnt respond to a
request about where the delayed phones are now.
While HTCs first-quarter
2012 earnings release showed profits to have fallen
70 percent year-over-year
, Samsungs first-quarter profits reached an
all-time high of $5.16 billion, representing a 98 percent year-on-year
increase, which it largely attributed to the success of its Galaxy
Doing HTC no favors,
Amazon.com has begun offering for preorder unlocked versions of Samsungs
newest darling, the Galaxy S III. While Samsung hasnt announced when the
much-hyped device will arrive in the United States, the Amazon
site states, "This item will be released on June 1, 2012." Deeper
into the fine print it adds: "Expected [dispatch] date on/after 4th
June 2012. Data may be subject to change, if there is any delay to the launch
date from manufacturer."
Unattached to a carrier,
and so without a subsidy, the 16GB versions of the S III, in Pebble Blue or
Marble White, are being offered for
introduced the S III at a May 3 event in London
. It runs Android 4.0, known
as Ice Cream Sandwich, features a quad-core processor and has one of the
largest displays on the market, a 4.8-inch high-definition Super AMOLED
(active-matrix organic LED). Still, its thinner and lighter than the iPhone
4S, with its 3.5-inch display.
The S IIIs more
attention-grabbing features, though, are the six sensors it uses to engage with
its usernot just listening, as Apples Siri digital assistant does, but
watching, intuiting and acting. It can, for example, "understand"
that a missed phone call and text from the same contact might constitute an
urgent situation. Or, using its front-facing camera, it can watch the user and,
seeing that the user is looking at it, not let the screen dim, even though it
has gone untouched for an amount of time that would normally warrant it.
In short, in a market
packed with generally indistinguishable Android smartphones, Samsung has found
a way to stand out.