HTC phone imports stopped by customs

US imports of two HTC phones are being held up indefinitely at US customs because of a ruling over the company’s patent dispute with Apple.

The delay affects the the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE. It stems from a an International Trade Commission ruling in December that the company was infringing Apple patents and should withdraw its Android phones from the US market.

The ITC ordered the ban to be introduced on April 19.

Since the ruling, the company has altered its technology to avoid the patent infringement, but says that the shipments still need to be inspected to make sure they comply.

While some shipments of the One X have already made it into the country, AT&T has run out already. And the EVO 4G LTE, due for launch by Sprint this week, now won’t be here in time.

After HTC’s announcement, its shares dropped 6.6 percent on the Taiwan Stock Exchange to reach their lowest level in five months. The company’s been under pressure lately, with first quarter net profits down 70 percent on last year’s figure, and revenues 35 percent down.

The new models were expected to help turn the company’s fortunes around.

There’s no word as to when the phones, if found to be compliant, will clear customs and reach retailers. HTC says it appreciates customers’ patience.