HTC says phones pass U.S. customs review

TAIPEI Tue May 29, 2012 8:56pm EDT

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TAIPEI (Reuters) - Smartphone maker HTC (2498.TW) said on Wednesday its latest smartphones have passed a U.S. customs review, clearing the way for it to ramp up sales in the United States as it looks to turn around a decline in what was once its largest market.

Earlier in May HTC had said that U.S. sales of two new smartphones, the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE, would be delayed due to a requirement for customs inspections after the Taiwanese company lost a patent dispute with Apple Inc (AAPL.O).

That news sent its shares tumbling on concerns over its ability to win back share in the U.S. market. HTC said at the time that its new phones contained a workaround to avoid the technology covered in the patent case, but that inspections were still required.

HTC has struggled to compete with Apple's iPhones and Samsung's (005930.KS) Galaxy range, and faces a further threat after Samsung launched its latest S3 model in Europe on Tuesday.

In April, HTC Chief Executive Peter Chou said HTC would not return to the days when more than 50 percent of its revenue came from the United States.

The company said in a brief statement on Wednesday that its phones "met International Trade Commission standards and imports to the U.S. would proceed according to normal processes."

HTC launched the One series of models in February to lead its fight back against Apple and Samsung, giving the phones fast graphic chips and advanced music and photography functions.

(Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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