Sprint's June 4 launch of the HTC Evo 4G smartphone was officially the carrier's most successful launch to date. Its launch marked the largest number of a single phone that Sprint has sold in a day, the carrier said in a June 7 statement.
While the Palm Pre and Samsung Instinct have previously set records for Sprint, the carrier said the number of Evo 4G handsets it sold June 4 was "three times the number of Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre devices sold over their first three days on the market combined."
A major lure for customers - in addition to the Evo 4G running the popular Android operating system and featuring one of the largest displays on the market, at 4.3 inches - is its ability to connect to Sprint partner Clearwire's 4G WiMax network.
"[The] HTC Evo 4G is a clear winner for customers, with the powerful combination of an amazing multimedia experience in 3G coverage areas that becomes even better in our growing number of 4G markets," Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in a statement. "It is terrific to see customers react so positively to this device and the innovative experience it brings to them."
Clearwire's expanding WiMax network - with coverage in Washinton, D.C., and Kansas City most recently announced - currently covers 43 million people. By the end of 2010, Clearwire expects that figure to reach 120 million, as it rolls out the network in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Boston, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Salt Lake City, among other metropolitan areas.
In addition to being available in Sprint retail locations, the Evo 4G arrived the same day at Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Radio Shack, where they were available without the mail-in rebate tucked alongside the Sprint contract. According to Sprint, these retailers and other "indirect dealers" faced temporary shortages of Evo handsets following such swift sales.
"HTC Evo 4G has more than lived up to our expectations that it would be one of the most anticipated technology products of the year," Kevin Packingham, senior vice president of product development for Sprint, said in a statement. "We are working closely with our partners at HTC to increase the supply and get Evo 4G into the hands of everyone who wants one as quickly as possible."
The Evo 4G additionally features two cameras - one a front-facing 1.3-megapixel model and the other a primary 8-megapixel model. A Qik Video Chat application for video calling is included, along with a Qualcomm 1GHz Snapdragon processor. The Evo also features stereo Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, and in 3G or 4G hotspot can tether to up to eight WiFi-enabled devices, acting as a high-speed modem.
Both at retailers and Sprint stores, the HTC Evo 4G is priced at $199.99 with a two-year contract.
The success of the Evo 4G was surely also met with considerable fanfare at Sprint headquarters, where executives have laid out a roadmap - which has included the Evo 4G, as well as the Overdrive 3G/4G modem and a money-back guarantee offer - that they hope will deliver the company to steadier ground. In the first quarter of 2010, Sprint lost 75,000 subscribers and $865 million, which was nonetheless an improvement over past quarters.