There’s no doubt that the Sprint HTC EVO 4G is one of the most impressive Android phones on market at this very moment, but due to supply shortages related to the Samsung-sourced display panels, the EVO 4G isn’t getting to that market fast enough to meet demand. A new report from the Wall Street Journal indicates that the Sprint’s inability to push out adequate supplies of the Android-powered superphone aren’t going to end anytime soon.
Without a reliable flow of display panels, HTC isn’t able to manufacture the EVO 4G fast enough to keep them in stock at Sprint. HTC has been using Samsung as their primary source for touchscreen display panels, and has been getting burned with component shortages that have left HTC unable to keep up with the demand for the new generation of high-end Android smartphones. The Verizon HTC Droid Incredible has similarly been stopped in its tracks by display component shortages, with delivery dates for the Incredible delayed until August 9th.
The problem is that Samsung’s current panel production ramp is maxed out. In fact, the South Korean tech giant’s display components are in such high demand that it has started construction on a new display factory that will help boost production volume. Unfortunately, the new factory isn’t slated to come on line before 2012. That means supplies of Samsung displays will be tight for the next couple years, likely leading to smartphone shortages around the globe.
As it stands, Sprint has sold 300,000 Sprint HTC EVO 4G units since launch. That’s not a small number, but it’s not what Sprint chief Dan Hesse was hoping for. Hesse told WSJ that “we thought we would have more of a head start than we’ll end up having” with the EVO 4G as the company’s spearheading 4G handset.
The Sprint website shows zero availability for the HTC EVO 4G and doesn’t mention when more units will be available for sale to the general public. We wish we could tell you differently, but it looks like EVO 4G early adopters are going to enjoy being one of the few with the handset for a bit longer.