Sprint’s EVO 4G LTE Has Cleared U.S. Customs, Pre-Orders To Be Filled As Early As May 24

Sprint’s launch plans for the HTC EVO 4G LTE were ruined last week when shipments of their shiny new Android handset were held up by United States Customs, but we’re hearing that they may been hitting doorsteps and store shelves sooner than expected.

According to Sprint, the devices are now currently sitting safely in Sprint’s warehouses and are expected to start trickling out into the world “on or around May 24.” And rest easy, you faithful pre-orderers — the world from on high is that you’ll still be getting your devices first.

In case you’re new to this little shipping snafu, shipments of Sprint’s new EVO (along with those of their AT&T-based cousin, the One X) were prevented form entering the country thanks to an exclusion order handed down by the International Trade Commission. The entire convoluted story started last year, but here’s the tl;dr:

Back in July, HTC was found by ITC judge Carl Charneski to have infringed on one of Apple’s patents — specifically, it involved recognizing a particular structure within a set of data and binding it to a particular action. Sounds pretty dry, I know, but if your phone lets you directly a call a phone number by touching it in an email, you’ve seen the patent in action.

At the time, HTC stated that they were working on fixing the offending UI flourish, and part of the holdup for customers was apparently because the phones were being spot-checked for compliance.

With Sprint’s EVO shipments said to be on the move once more, now the question becomes whether or not shipments of AT&T’s One X are as well. I’ve reached out to AT&T for confirmation one way or the other, and I’ll be updating the post as I hear more.