HTC's U.S. customs delays push Q2 outlook lower

According to the company, it will now post lower revenue and its margins will shrink thanks to a holdup of shipments at U.S. customs.

HTC's One X smartphone is now getting through U.S. customs without trouble.
HTC's One X smartphone is now getting through U.S. customs without trouble.

HTC's patent dispute with Apple has damaged its finances, the company said.

The handset maker announced today that it has revised its second-quarter outlook (PDF) from an expected NT$93.6 billion (about $3.1 billion) to NT$91 billion. In addition, the company's anticipated gross margin of 29 percent has been revised to 27 percent. HTC's operating margin will now likely hit 9 percent, rather than the initial 11.2 percent figure.

According to HTC, the downturn is due in part to "lower-than-anticipated sales to Europe." In addition, the company says that the "delayed shipment and launch of certain products in the U.S." has caused some problems.

Last month, HTC announced that shipments of its HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G handsets were being delayed by U.S. customs following a ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission in its patent dispute with Apple. HTC said at the time that it believes that it was "in compliance with the ruling" and was "working closely with Customs to secure approval."

The dispute dates back all the way to 2010 when Apple first filed a complaint against HTC, charging the handset maker with 10 patent violations. Last June, a preliminary ruling by the ITC found only two violations. A final ruling in December narrowed it to one.

Luckily for HTC, the delay was only temporary. Last week, the company announced that shipments of its handsets were flowing through customs without any issue.

"HTC has completed the review process with U.S. Customs and HTC devices have been released, as they are in compliance with the ITC's ruling," the company said in a statement last week. "Future shipments should continue to enter the U.S. and we are confident that we will soon be able to meet the demand for our products."

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