HTC handsets finally released from customs; Samsung clamps down on S-Voice leaks

by Marty Gabel

Just a few days ago, we learned that new HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE smartphones, for use on AT&T and Sprint respectively, were held up in U.S. customs for infringing Apple’s patents. Back in December, Apple won an exclusion order from the International Trade Commision (ITC) because Android's messaging app and browser infringed upon an Apple patent which covers automatically converting phone numbers and email addresses into clickable menu items. It appears this was the reason the phones were stopped on their journey to U.S. stores.

However, it seems customs is finally allowing the HTC devices back into the U.S., although there is no clear indication which ones are permitted, or when they’ll finally reach AT&T and Sprint. We’ll have to see whether the delay has any financial repercussions for HTC. The new HTC X and S variant devices have seen a lot of positive press, and momentum is building for HTC after its recent financial struggles. For customers expecting their new One X or EVO 4G LTE, hopefully the wait won’t be too long.

Samsung blocks unofficial S-Voice requests

Samsung’s new Galaxy S III device is almost upon us, too. We’ve already seen a leak of the official Flipboard app, but Samsung didn’t really seem too concerned about that. However, the company is taking a much firmer line in regards to a leaked APK for its S-Voice technology. Samsung is now blocking any voice requests from unofficial devices, so users who installed the APK on their Ice Cream Sandwich Android phones won’t be able to use it. During the last 24 hours, Samsung and Vlingo (which powers the technology behind it) detected requests from non-supported devices and started blocking them.

This isn’t really a surprise. The Galaxy S III is due to go on sale in just a few days, and its S-Voice feature was touted as being a viable Android alternative to Siri on iOS at the company’s London launch event a few weeks ago.

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