Sprint CEO: Phone shortages affecting 4G adoption

What good is a 4G network if you don't have more phones to run on it? That's the hand Sprint is currently playing and that has been briefly detailed in a story at the Wall Street Journal's website. The Macquarie Group tells WSJ that 300,000 Evo 4Gs have been sold, but the phone (again) is listed on Sprint's site as being unavailable, and one cannot sell what once does not have. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told the WSJ that "We thought we would have had more of a head start than we'll end up having."

Blamed for the shortages (including the HTC Droid Incredible on Verizon) are the touchscreens, which are manufactured by Samsung. HTC has enlisted Sony to provide it with SLCD screens, which may help alleviate some of the shortage.

Meanwhile, Samsung just launched the Samsung Galaxy S line in the United States, spanning the four major carriers and two regionals, and we'll have to see how well it can keep up with demand there. [WSJ]

  • "Blamed for the shortages (including the HTC Droid Incredible on Verizon) are the touchscreens, which are manufactured by Samsung." Interesting. I wonder if the Samsung phones will have screen shortages holding up their production/distribution. Maybe Samsung is intentionally shorting HTC in favor of their own brand? Someone should have seen that conflict of interest.
  • ^This. Samsung is not going to provide screens to a competitor when it has to get its own phones out the door.
  • personally I expect no demand issues from Samsung on the epic 4g, in fact I would likely recommend the epic over the evo right now with an asterisk, and it's this; will Samsung support the phone longer term, by that I mean not froyo, but with Gingerbread...
  • Htc is no better. Name me a HTC phone that has received more than one update
  • samsung is up to no good....
  • if only the epic didn't have that keyboard i would have jump all over it.
  • Yeah once you get used to a touchscreen... you think a keyboard is not worth it anymore. I had a Palm Pre and was concerned about the lack of a keyboard on the Evo.
    Pshh... with swype, multitouch keyboards, and even stock... I can get through my day. But yeah, locally... Sprint, Radioshack, Best Buy, and even Sam's (where I got my Evo) is sold out.
  • The MAIN selling point for the Epic (to me) is the keyboard. The sooner it's released the better! It's currently the only HIGH end Android device with a QWERTY. They need to strike while they are the only one.
  • UNBELIEVABLE! How long was this story going to remain buried? Did Dan Hesse just wake up? The backorder madness for the Incredible and the EVO exploded like 2 weeks ago when all available outlets posted shipping delays first of 1 to 2 weeks (Incredible) and 2 to 3 weeks (EVO). Now I'm hearing that the Incredible isn't shipping until August; well damn if that's not more than 2 weeks out! Also someone tell me how the EVO's TFT LCD screen is part of this fiasco? I thought the issue was with the Incredible's AMOLED screens and how they were separating and/or getting washed out in direct sunlight. Does Samsung provide the EVO TFT screens as well? Naturally my local Sprint store happily put me on a waitlist with "about 14 other people". Of course I didn't see the list so there could also be any number of people on the list or the list could simply not exist at all. I was told that as stock comes in, the waitlist is fulfilled first, but seeing that the delay is due to screen issues and a market-share battle with Samsung I don't see how I'll have an EVO in my hands any time soon. Another good move on the part of Sprint? Probably not, but hell, how can you generate all this buzz about a product as hot as Android and then not make sure you have ample supply to feed to the masses? I can just see Steve Jobs laughing all the way to bank on this one. Might just have to forget about Sprint and Verizon and take a good long look at T-Mobile again with the Samsung Vibrant. No way I will dance with AT&T though.
  • Wow strike 2 on HTC just for this ONE phone (oh and the Incredible as well in regards to stock). First the update bricking issue (yes I was one of the affected but got a replacement (read: brand new phone) the next day from Sprint) and now shortage issues that people are going to complain about and say how bad the phone is or how bad Sprint is when it's really to be blamed on HTC for their lack of planning in manufacturing. I have the EVO and love it, really great phone. Realizing there is about to be launched other great Android phones, and even on Sprint (Samsung Epic), but I still don't feel the need to upgrade my phone (yet haha) since it would be like buying a new car because the stereo is louder or the A/C is colder. They are almost identical but with some upgrades to hardware or software that inches it up the ladder to the all coveted title of "best Android phone out there". I'd rather be #2 on the list of awesome Android devices than be "un-recommendable" (*cough* iPhone...sorry couldn't resist) and the fact that most of the EVO's shortcomings WILL be improved in future software developments. So come on HTC...get it together and help Android be #1 in functionality, features, and finally availability. Oh and Google/HTC devs...come on it's getting old now. Froyo? Um yea...release it already for the rest of us.
  • how about 4g affecting 4g adoption? the implementation in the san antonio market has been rocky at best.
  • I have a couple of problems with this story. 1. I thought the Evo used an LCD and not AMOLED screen so how whats causing the supply problem here? 2. Can you really not get an Evo? A friend of mine just told me he got one 3 days ago. He told me just prior to it that he was thinking about one. He just walked in a store and got one here in Houston. *UPDATE* He just let me know that he did have to wait. He explained as if he just went and got it. His fiance had been on a list. But then again he also said they had enough when he went to sell his mom one as well when she wasn't on any list. Does anyone else smell something foul here? Could it be that Sprint just isn't pulling in the numbers they thought they would and now they are trying to fabricate excuses? Something just ain't adding up. Well I guess we will know for sure when the Galaxies launch. If one carrier isn't having shortages then it will be mighty hard for another one to claim they are.
  • Sounds like it is a warning that 4g won't be implemented like was originally advertised due to things "out of their control". Not HTCs fault as Sprint could have waited to roll out the Evo till they had adequate numbers. Besides I have heard first hand from possible Evo customers that passed due to the $10 up charge they wouldn't sign up for an Evo. With no word of any city other than the twin city metro it is tough call for some....I got the Evo and switched to Sprint believing 4g was coming....now I am wondering if jumped ship too soon.
  • I just hope to see 4g in san jose ca soon.getting tired of the 10 dollars extra for a feature I'm not getting.
  • I am in Boston and my evo is going back Thursday, i love the evo but my htc hero still in good condition and i just can not justified the extra $10.00 with out getting the 4g service in my area, sorry i just can not do it, who know i mite try the samsung vibrant on t mobile until sprint get the new hp/palm phone.
  • There's no shortages of EVO's - every time I've been over to worst buy they have plenty under the counter. I didn't get one because I think the 10$ data tax for 4g is retarded. You want to increase adoption rate? Here's a simple formula: 1) increase coverage so it actually works where I live
    2) make it cheaper than 3g plans from your competitors (and by cheaper - I mean way undercut them). Maybe that video is right - they could stop wasting money on nascar and pass the savings on to customers? http://autoracingsport.com/report-sprint-sponsorship-of-nascar-in-seriou... - I've heard rumors though that Verizon wants this sponsorship ... I hate phone companies in general - it always feels like I'm choosing between 4 idiots.
  • That article about Sprint and Nascar was from 2008. It doesn't seem to me like they have any plans of dropping that anytime soon.
  • Don't know why people whine over 10. Bucks I know It's the principle of it..but 4g rolled out in Syracuse today and it pretty cool. I did try talking and then surf the net at the same time...pretty cool...
  • Because the +10 dollars actually makes it more expensive than my AT&T plan (which is around 55 right now) for 4G I can't use. The nearest city that has it is 2 hour drive away.
  • Yeah I will let you know if paying for 4G for 2 years without service/coverage is worth it when I finally get it....ugh!
  • Really...wow, I thought it was because it was lack of 4G Coverage that would affect 4G adoption. o.O?!
  • hahaha pure win.
  • the ten bucks that you pay it u have a evo is not for 4g its for premium data and it is for to help sprint get money to build there 4g network so if you wont them to make there network better then you need to pay it you can get better with out spending some money and u cant get some thing for free and even with the ten bucks charge sprint is still cheeper then at@t and version
  • Samsung is always up to no good.. case in point: the last several years of the instinct. You remember, "the Iphone killer" what a ripoff! Sorry for Rhode sucked like me. I'll never buy a Samsung again for fear of having to relive that year of my life.
  • I just got my EVO on Friday from my local Best Buy. I would suggest calling around first before going by what you read on a retailer's website. The BB site said they weren't available but when I went to my Best Buy after calling them, they had both Black and White EVOs in stock.
  • OK, something is truly wrong in Sprintsville. The last two "flagship" phone rollouts the Palm Pre in '09 and the HTC EVO in '10. Both have suffered the exact same problem -- not enough inventory on hand to satisfy demand. Last year Sprint blamed Palm, this year they are blaming HTC -- perhaps they need to look in a mirror to see who really to blame.