HTC smartphone Rhyme

HTC says Apple ruling delayed again

HTC has said that a U.S. court has postponed a final ruling on a lawsuit where Apple is seeking a sales ban of HTC devices.

The International Trade Commission, a U.S. trade panel that investigates patent infringement involving imported goods, will deliver its ruling on December 19, an HTC spokeswoman said.

She added that the ITC did not disclose a reason for the delay, the second postponement of a ruling that had been originally scheduled for December 6.

"It's hard to say whether the delay is good or bad because we don't know the true reason behind," said Yuanta Securities analyst Bonnie Chang.

"We hope the ruling will come as soon as possible so we can predict where the bottom is and whether there will be a settlement, and then we can have a better view of HTC's fundamentals in the coming one year."

The ruling is crucial for world's No.4 smartphone maker HTC, which has struggled with legal battles and stiff competition with Apple and Samsung, since it could result in a ban on the sale of HTC handsets in the United States - a market that accounts for 50 per cent of the company revenue.

The suit is seen by some as a proxy for the larger fight for market share between Google's Android cellphones and tablets, many of which HTC manufactures, and Apple's product line.

Korean Samsung, which also makes Android products, is locked in similar court fights with Apple.

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