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Robert Downey Jr. reportedly signs with HTC for $12 million marketing blitz

robert downey jr iron man (Featureflash / Shutterstock.com)

HTC is preparing an extensive two-year marketing campaign featuring Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr, according to two sources who spoke to Bloomberg. The deal is said to be worth $12 million and will span television, print, and billboard advertising around the globe, with Downey maintaining a level of creative control.

HTC has struggled to keep the pace with rival Samsung’s marketing muscle, despitepositive reviews of products such as the flagship One smartphone, and was also recently hit with a series of high-profile departures. The company said last month it had soldaround five million One phones since its March launch, compared to Samsung’s 10 million shipments of the Galaxy S4 in its first month.

“We haven’t been loud enough,” said chief marketing officer Ben Ho in his first meeting with the press this March. Ho added that the company would be retiring its long-serving “Quietly Brilliant” tagline in favor of a campaign based around the themes of “bold,” “authentic,” and “playful.”  Read More

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Sprint to start shipping HTC’s Evo 4G LTE on Thursday

The HTC 4G LTE will finally land in Sprint customers’ hands this week.

After a week-long delay caused by a patent spat with Apple, HTC’s Evo 4G LTE will finally begin shipping to Sprint customers later this week.

The carrier made the announcement on a company blog this afternoon:

 

Customers who preordered HTC EVO 4G LTE…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 pre-ordered the device online from Sprint. We will provide details on the full national launch as soon as possible.

The new smartphone, along with the One X, have been in limbo for the past week since HTC announced that imports of the devices were being delayed indefinitely by U.S. Customs officials over unresolved patent infringement issues with Apple. The delay stems from a December ruling by the International Trade Commission, a federal agency with the power to enforce bans on products shipping to the U.S.

The ITC ruled that HTC infringed on Apple’s patent for data detection, which allows a mobile device to recognize items like e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and addresses in text and automatically move them to a calendar, dialer, or mapping application. The quasi-judicial body said in its ruling that it would impose an import ban on some of HTC’s products if the feature wasn’t removed by April 19, 2012. Immediately after that ruling, HTC announced it would soon remove the feature from “all of our phones.”  Read More

Don’t Blame Apple Because Customs Is Holding HTC’s Best Android Phones Hostage

htc evo 4g lte

Steve Kovach, Business Insider

AT&T is sold out of the One X on its website. Thankfully, the phone launched early enough that several third-party retailers, such as Amazon and Target, still have stock.

Sprint just launched its EVO 4G LTE flagship phone, but it’s impossible to find that device. You might want to blame Apple or HTC for the delay, but you shouldn’t.

We spoke with one expert to shed light on the whole situation.

First, a little background.

The phones are locked down in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) due to an ITC exclusion order, which was issued on April 19th after a judge ruled that HTC was infringing on Apple’s technology. The tech was specifically related to HTC’s custom messaging app and Android’s own browser and messaging applications. HTC’s software originally allowed users to click a phone number to see a menu of choices asking the user what he or she wanted to do with the number, but that was Apple’s technology. You can see it all over iOS. HTC had to create a workaround and no longer presents that menu option on the AT&T One X or Sprint EVO 4G LTE.

“It appears HTC has made the changes they need to make,” Nilay Patel, a former U.S. copyright attorney who now works for The Verge, and who has followed the case closely, explained to TechnoBuffalo. ”So what’s happening now is the exclusion order bars HTC from importing anything that violates the patents. Customs has to tell its guys at the ports what this means.”  Read More

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