Dan Hesse: These EVO 4G Shortages Are Making a Dent in our Plans


Many people on all sides of this equation aren’t happy. HTC EVO 4G owners can’t get replacement phones if Sprint can’t keep them in stock. Would-be EVO owners remain on the sidelines waiting for supply to come to terms with demand. HTC’s missing out on shipping one of the hottest devices in America, and Sprint can’t move along with their 4G strategy if they don’t have phones to support it.

Dan Hesse – perhaps one of the most outspoken high-level executives of all the major US carriers – echoes the woes speaking to the Wall Street Journal: “We thought we would have more of a head start than we’ll end up having.” Their strategy of wanting to be named the “first” for having a standards-compliant 4G network came with the obvious pitfalls of not having enough devices to take advantage of the network as well as a very staggered, slow rollout overall.


The strategy doesn’t just help their bragging rights, either. Sprint hoped that the introduction of their first 4G devices would spur subscriber rates as they tacked on the controversial “$10 fee” to use these “data-hungry” phones. Whether or not that $10 charge is technically justified is an entirely different argument in and of itself, but the 300,000 or so customers that have supposedly scooped the EVO up don’t seem to mind it, and I’m sure Sprint wouldn’t mind it if they could truly meet demand and expand potential.

Shortages are said to come from Samsung being unable to produce enough screens at a faster rate. Previously, it was believed that the problem only plagued devices using AMOLED screens such as the HTC Droid Incredible. HTC’s lining up more partners with different technology (namely Sony with their Super TFT LCD display) to make sure this doesn’t happen with devices they’re planning to launch in the future. It’s unsure if their moves will help to eradicate the severe shortage issues they’re already facing with two of their biggest offerings in America.

As Verizon and AT&T prepare a strong push for LTE – as well as T-Mobile banking on HSPA+ to keep their network afloat until they’re ready to get in on the action – Sprint’s got a lot of work to do if they want to keep themselves in a position to take on their competition, network wise. It all starts with the phones, and –  unfortunately for Sprint – they just can’t seem to get enough.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. waiting for the epic 4g.

  2. Sounds like another case of Samsung trying to screw a competitor…moral of the story, don’t source parts.

  3. i’ve waiting for over a month to get my hands on a EVO. one day i’ll get my hands on it. but i’m sure by the someone else amazing will come out and i will be torn apart.

  4. Even more reason for Sprint to announce a release date for the Samsung Epic 4G…..Many of us are not buying the EVO and waiting for the Epic 4G for reasons other than shortages….The EVO has its problems like other phones do but having only one 4G phone option is a huge problem…..Just think if the Xbox 360 or PS3 released with only one game available for their cutting-edge new systems….Some people would buy but others will wait for more games to become available before jumping into the next-gen technology…..Sprint needs to release the Epic 4G and more 4G smartphones if they are to continue to grow their subscribers….It doesn’t matter how good your network is if you can’t even walk in to a store and buy a 4G phone or have a second or third choice if you don’t like what the EVO has to offer….So my suggestion to Sprint is to hurry up with the Epic 4G release and any other 4G phones because the other networks are hot on your heals with fast network upgrades that will make your network seem slow.

  5. Makes one wonder how Samsung can supply itself with MILLIONS of AMOLED and Super AMOLED screens for its’ Galaxy S phones yet can’t pump out a handful of smaller screens for the Incredible or for that matter some 4.3’s for HTC. Me thinks that he screen shortage is just a wee bit more than manufacturing problems at this point.

  6. i think that samsung is doing this on purpose so they get to sell their product first, it is a very slime way of doing things but a very effective one.

  7. Got the 4G this weekend, and I’m incredibly happy thus far! So far, it’s a really solid device with all the functionality I expected! For those of you waiting for Sprint to get these back in stock, you won’t be disappointed.

  8. WIMAX is NOT 4G. It’s 3.6,3.7 and Sprint calls it whatever it wants. Next AT&T will be calling theirs, 5.5G

  9. In short, Epic 4G will come out very soon.

  10. @not4g

    You are an idiot, and have not a clue what you are talking about.

  11. Samsung is just upset that HTC overtook them in smartphone mrketshare.
    So what do they do?
    They realize that they are the ones that make the displays for HTC, so they stop shipping to them so they can regain their marketshare back.
    Pretty F-ed up tactic if you ask ANYONE.
    We all know that they can make them easily enough. How many different brand spanking new Galaxy models are they pumping out to every single carrier on earth? Samsung=Bad buisness Partners

  12. i’m getting the samsung vibrant this week. but i wish i was getting the epic 4g!! the only thing the evo 4g has over the epic is the hdmi out. the epic screen is better and the processor is also. keyboard and enough is said!! if i was on sprint i would 4sure wait on the epic 4g. which should be out next month. so good luck you sprint fucks!!

  13. I hope the rumor is true that HTC is working on their on display technology that is comparable to Super AMOLED.
    This way they cant be shafted again by the people that make the displays for them just because customers are buying HTCs phones over theirs……….

  14. First of all, Sprint doesn’t even have wimax in most cities. Yet they are still charging a 4g fee.
    2) While HTC is replacing their screen, maybe they can replace their Snapdragon cpu with a cortex while they are at it.

  15. Well the rumored HTC Sabur CPU is rumored to be 2GHz.
    That good enough? ;)
    Also “supposed to be” the first of their phones that that will be using their new display tech.

  16. Ari-free gets it. Thank you.

  17. @swayzduhwhistler, obviously you don’t know anything about Wimax, perhaps you’re the idiot.

  18. I reside in a Sprint “4G” city. Not impressed with their Wimax.

  19. Sprint allows you to use your HTC EVO on their 3G network with an unlimited plan, unlike AT&T’s iPhone 4, which tops out at 2GB — not to mentinon that AT&T has zero 4G service anywhere.

    Even with the $10.00/mo fee, Sprint’s unlimited data smartphone plans are STILL cheaper than AT&T’s not-so-unlimited iPhone plans or Verizon’s smartphone plans.

    (The wait for an HTC EVO for me was about 1 week at Radio Shack. Didn’t the iPhone have chronic shortages its first few months for a 2G (no 3G!) phone?)

  20. I’m with you brother, I honestly hope this isn’t the mighty 4g Sprint speaks of, since I’m in a 4g area and find that its the same, at best.

  21. LOL, you make me laugh swazedahustla. Seriously, where have you been that you don’t know that Srint doesn’t truly have 4G. There’s gotta be somebody on this site that can shout out the specs, min qualifiers for 4G, that Sprint does not exactly qualify & differences between LTE & HSPA+ It’s already known that T-Mobile’s HSPA+ will be faster than Wimax & T-Mobile’s not even trying to be soo cocky, as to refer to HSPA+ as “4G.” Just saying..

  22. HSPA+?! That sounds way too cool! I forgot that Tmo was already working on that-that info came out like in Q1 that its reported to easily be faster than Wimax-too cool!

  23. I’m still waiting for the Epic 4G because of the physical keyboard. I’m currently with T-Mobile and will probably switch to Sprint the day it is release. In the meantime I’m still paying and waiting with T-Mobile.

    I really hope the Epic 4G is a big success. I hate this craze of all the next generation smartphones with no physical keys. There is the Motorola Droid and the MyTouch Slide but the specs fall short of the latest HTC and Samsung phones.

  24. i have the htc evo & i turn off my 4G cause i do not have 4G where i am and i love my phone it’s the best phone to me i do not like samsungs phones there crap i have had 6 differet types of samsung phones and they were all crap i could care less about the amoled screen if the phone doesn’t work right i don’t want it.

  25. I agree with CZ. More buttons = better usage. I never liked Apple for insisting on a one button mouse with no scroll wheel and here we are again.

  26. Sweetie, we are not talking about a Gravity or Comeback, here. You’ve never had a mega Android from Samsung. This is it & no the Behold II doesn’t count.

  27. Min specs for 4G? Real 4G?

    As defined by the International Telecommunication Union: 1 Gbps for stationary/nearly stationary communication; 100 Mbps mobile. None of the currently being implemented standards (LTE, HSPA+, WiMAX) meet those requirements, at least in the US. It must also be a fully IP packet-switched technology.

    LTE is capable of a maximum theoretical downlink of 100 Mbps and uplink of 50 Mpbs. This is a stepping stone to the true 4G version: LTE Advanced.

    HSPA+ should be capable of 56 Mbps close to cell towers using MIMO. In practice, it won’t be close to that maximum. HSPA+’s closest upgrade path to 4G is LTE Advanced.

    WiMAX is a wireless standard known as 802.16e (the current implementations, at least). The standard is capable of 128 Mbps down and 56 Mbps up. WiMAX standard 802.16m is 4G compliant.

    Long story short, no cellular service in the US is or will soon be 4G compliant, and none of the mobile companies will even come close to hitting the theoretical maximums of even these “interim” technologies without massive backhaul upgrades to improve bandwidth within their networks.

    I say anything is better than nothing — let’s take what we can get when we can get it.

  28. yo ari-free,

    How do companies obtain capital to grow their business?

    At least sprint is trying to get the money from people who want to grow 4-g. They could be charging EVERYONE 10 dollars or 5 or whatever.

    OR they could be like the other companies and just straight charge higher fees for everything. Sprint is the best bang for your buck, and with the EVO and EPIC might just be the best period, regardless of price.

  29. The few who make the idiotic claims that Sprints 4G isn’t 4G, ARE idiots. Speed of a network has nothing to do with the 4G, 3G labels. 4G is basically the next generation wireless network. Technology NOT being used by the previous network.

  30. @informedless, back up your statements. otherwise, the above facts still stand true, kiddo. not 4g.

  31. Didn’t Sprint get a Govt Bail-Out? Just saying.

  32. why doesnt htc just use led screens? =/

  33. Samsung does the same thing in the home appliance business. But instead of screwing competitors on parts they lowball their prices to gain share…and if a competitor happens to source from them they force them to offer at a certain price then take their own model with same features and drop price…thus screwing competitor…Same thing is happening here…DON’T BUY SAMSUNG.

  34. Samsung does the same thing in the home appliance business. But instead of screwing competitors on parts they lowball their prices to gain share…and if a competitor happens to source from them they force them to offer at a certain price then take their own model with same features and drop price…thus screwing competitor…Same thing is happening here…DON’T BUY SAMSUNG.

  35. Will you guys stop? Do you honestly think Samsung is being selfish by not giving all their screens to HTC? They have a HUGE batch of SAMSUNG Galaxy S to give out to what 4-5 carriers? And the specs are so much better than the EVO anyway! Better processor, better screen, better frame rate (EVO STILL stuck at 30 fps), physical keyboard on the Epic PLUS Swype, better video capture, and I can almost guarantee better battery life! I have nothing against the EVO, but just think about how many phones Samsung has to get ready! They are going to need the 4-5x the number of Galaxy S as they needed EVOs, AND they are responsible for HTC’s phones too? I mean I’m not IN LOVE with Samsung, but give them a break!

  36. Samsung = piece of shit…

  37. I hope this brings up the date for the launch of the Epic.

  38. Geez, look at all these attention whores. Lougle! 4g yourself to see it isn’t really cut and dry or even truly defined yet. 4g is the marketing term for the average consumers, if you read blogs like this you are laughing at all the childish comments right now trying to define it. Other jack holes wanna just show off their copy/paste skills in using other tech sites.

    If you have any real job the $10 fee argument is moot. Just think back at crap you have spent $10 on in the last month that you didn’t really need. Even use your head and check with your cell phone provider for a work discount. RN’s get 35% off @ Verizon for example. Heh, what low wage monkeys make in a month is what the tax deductions are in a RN’s paycheck for a week. Another reason to throw up on them.

  39. Why is it that cell phone companies and handset makers are constantly fucking up?

  40. While I reside in a 4g market, I can rarely ever get a 4g connection? Am I upset? Not really! The Evo is a great phone, as is my service with Sprint? How happy am i? Well let’s just say I am happy enough to carry a Sprint phone into work everyday! Who cares you might ask? My coworkers do, because I work for another cell phone company! The company I work for claims to have better service than Sprint! Not even close!

  41. @informed – actually, speed has everything to do with 4G. That’s why there’s REQUIREMENTS for 4G. The bandwidth requirements are one of many requirements for 4G. Everything that doesn’t meet all requirements is considered Pre-4G. This includes WiMax in its current incarnation, and calling it 4G is merely a marketing term. Those that fall for it and believe them, as you so aptly put it, are “idiots.” WiMax won’t meet the standards until the 802.16m, also known as WiMax Release 2, which is also the IMT-Advanced candidate for the 4G label and standardization. What you have now is 802.16e. Just so we’re clear, the requirements for each generational service are made known long before they are reached. They are already discussing 5G, as the releases occur every 10 years. “1G” was in roughly 1981, and so on from there. 5G is initially calling for worldwide services, with no limitations to access and no zones – and allowing for different radio technologies to share the same frequency and spectrum… like if Verizon and AT&T shared the same frequencies now, it won’t work, with the proposed 5G standard, it would.

  42. So let me get this straight…..Samsung builds the screen that is in short supply, that is causing HTC to slow production, that is causing Sprint to become backordered…..on an item that was introduced the same day as the Galaxy S (a competitor smartphone.) The Galaxy S was built by Samsung, who built the screen that is in short supply, that is causing HTC to slow production, that is causing Sprint to become backordered….on an item……….um……anyone else smell conspiracy???

  43. Como quiosieramos esa red 4G aqui en Perú y no la estafa 3G de Movistar y Claro.

  44. I have been on the waitlist for well over a month and I have also been at the very top of the waiting list for almost 3 weeks… still no EVO. Frustrating.

  45. @mace the best way to get an Evo is at Sprint.com. they almost always het them before the stores do. I only waited a week and they has them back in stock. once ordered I received it the next day. It was worth the wait. iI work for big magenta, but much prefer my sprint service and my Evo. For all of you waiting for the Galaxy S phones. Big magenta released ours last week, and I have sold a lot of them. About half bring them back. The Amoled screen as nice as it appearance to be is horrible on sunlight. As for the 4g service…. it is.great when it works.which is rare, and I live in KC where they are based. It is fasterthan 3g, but less.reliable. Don’t let it.ne a deal breaker. I am a heavy user and still have battery life at the end of the day.

  46. Samsung has ZERO fault. There is no indication they are slow at all on the amount HTC contracted. HTC underestimated its own sales.
    As far as the super amoled not good in sunlight, Ep[ics super amoled is much better in sunlight than EVO regular amoled in sunlight. Also super amoled uses way less battery life, hence the better battery life of the epic

  47. Too bad Samsung has such bad business ethics. Hopefully others in the industry will take note and boycott doing any busienss relations with a company that either can’t or won’t keep of up demand for a customer. Personally, I can say Sprint has always been a premier company with outstanding business tactics and ethics. No more Samsung products for me!

    Oh well, the longer this goes on the longer the discent for Samsung will grow.

  48. Alapaki. I work for T-Mobile and trust me we have more of our galaxy s phones returned more than any cell phone in our company history. The Samsung Vibrant we sell has a super ambled screen, and that is what moat of the complaints are about. The gps in our phones do not work properly and I take at least 20 calls a day complaining about the phone. It Is a piece of garbage, as is the t-mobile service. As for the battery life, I have no problems with my Evo battery and I am a heavy user. I have no problem making of from 6 am to 9pm with my battery. Yes it is low at the end.of the day, and yes I have to charge it every night. I head the same complaints day I and out about the galaxy a phone we sell. Especially since it is always connecting to the t-mobile server to back up the phone. Half of the time it causes the phone to lock up. My main complaint from other customers is the.cheap build of.the phone. It is a total joke. I’ll take my Evo over anything my company.is selling, as well as Sprint service over t-mobile anyway. The sad part is I still have to sell the crappy phone and service I don’t believe in. I have a family to support. Until Sprint hires me I have no choice.

  49. i returned my evo. new out of the box it smelled like feet and a$$. weird.

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