Sprint's CEO, Dan Hesse, revealed in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that due to shortages of the HTC EVO 4G, (caused by shortages of
AMOLED LCD displays) Sprint is expecting that their head-start with 4G technology will not be as great as once expected. With possibly 300,000 HTC EVO 4G handsets sold so far, Sprint needs to move much more 4G capable hardware to users quickly if they want to get a real advantage from their 4G network, which just expanded to seven new cities.
Shortages of the AMOLED displays used in many HTC devices have caused production of many phones at HTC to go on hold. There is word that HTC is switching their display technology and providers due to the delays caused in shipping phones like the HTC Droid Incredible
and the EVO 4G. BoyGeniusReport writes that "HTC has said that they have signed several different contracts with other vendors (including Sony) to provide LCD screens and other parts for future handsets in an attempt to prevent delays."
Samsung, which produces many of the AMOLED displays used, is in the process of launching their line of Galaxy S phones (which all feature Super AMOLED displays). It is likely that Samsung's production of Galaxy S handsets for their massive release has taken precedence over producing and shipping any displays to other companies.
Ironically, the very company causing the shortage problem for the HTC EVO 4G, (and thus Sprint) is Samsung, who unveiled the Samsung Epic 4G, which will be Sprint's second 4G capable phone. Was this maneuvering by Samsung to make sure their handset is the most popular 4G handset on Sprint? It is hard to say, but the way things are going, Samsung stands to come out ahead.
If Sprint wants to be able to bill itself as a major player in the high speed mobile data competition, they need to get moving. Androinica notes that "T-Mobile is rolling out its HSPA+ network faster than Sprint’s 4G, and AT&T and Verizon are expected to have LTE networks next year that could be superior to Sprint’s WiMax network."
In other Sprint news, an announcement was made by Sprint that their 4G network has expanded to seven new cities. According to Engadget, "Rochester and Syracuse, New York; Merced and Visalia, California; Eugene, Oregon; Tri-Cities and Yakima, Washington" are the seven cities to receive the 4G coverage.
Image from Android Central