App Industry Roundup: How many HTC Evo 4G’s have really sold?

Jun 9, 2010
Finance

That question leads off today’s App Industry Roundup. HTC’s hot Evo appears hard to buy, but there’s a dispute about how many have really sold. Also, the Pulse app developers speak and, surprise, Gawker is annoyed at Steve Jobs. Is the Evo sold out, or were sales overstated? According to the Boy Genius report, a “reliable Sprint” […]

That question leads off today’s App Industry Roundup. HTC’s hot Evo appears hard to buy, but there’s a dispute about how many have really sold. Also, the Pulse app developers speak and, surprise, Gawker is annoyed at Steve Jobs.

Is the Evo sold out, or were sales overstated?

According to the Boy Genius report, a “reliable Sprint” source said the carrier has sold “well over 200,000 units of the HTC EVO 4G” and the sexy smartphone is now sold out across the country. Hence, if you waited in long lines to be the first to buy this big-screened Android phone, congratulations. The Evo is a terrific phone and just one of the cool new Android models that offer phone buyers an alternative to the new iPhone 4.

The Evo runs on the Android 2.1 operating system, has an 8-megapixel camera, and includes Sprint’s mobile “hotspot” application so you can tether the Evo to a laptop via Sprint’s network. It even has a kickstand, my favorite feature. But how many have been sold? Sprint now acknowledges that it inflated launch day sales of the Evo. Sprint did not give an exact sales number, only a comparison to sales of other phones, saying originally that the number of Evo models sold “was three times the number of Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre devices sold over their first three days on the market combined,” according to Reuters.

Now Sprint says the number of Evo’s sold was “in line” with the number of Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre devices sold over their first three days on the market. Either way, it’s a lousy way to indicate sales. Still, one analyst used Sprint’s information to cut Evo phone sales by 100,000 over the first weekend, saying Sprint sold 150,000 Evo phones.

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“Furthermore, our calls to 20 plus stores today indicate that the phone is in short supply, so we do not expect that number to rise significantly in the first week of sales,” said BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk, according to Reuters.

At least everyone agrees that the phone is hard to find at the moment.

Pulse app creators speak

The Pulse news reading app has been reinstated at iTunes after being pulled recently do to objections by the New York Times over how the $3.99 app uses free RSS feeds from the Gray Lady. Apple has not explained why it has reversed its decision, according to the New York Times.

The app, only offered for the iPad, was developed by two Stanford grad students. Boomtown reporter and All Things Digital publisher Kara Swisher talked to the young men, saying the two are “sweet-natured, slightly naive, energetic and very product focused, they’d be the last techies you’d choose to be the ones who got the New York Times in a tizzy.” Swisher had to prod the young men to talk to her — yes, people, the world still needs professional reporters — and found that it took them four weeks to develop the app for a class project.

Swisher also shot a video of her conversation with Akshay Kothari, 23, and Ankit Gupta, 22.

Is Steve Jobs playing tricks? Of course!

It appears the Apple CEO may have exaggerated claims that the screen clarity of the new iPhone, based on a measure known as pixel density, was overblown during his address Monday that introduced the iPhone 4. In this Valleywag story, Ryan Tate points to a study that shows the new iPhone’s resolution to be twice as better as the iPhone 3Gs, not the three to five times improvement reported by Jobs during his presentation.

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Further, Tate points to other examples where Apple has exaggerated performance. Look, I won’t argue with this at all; I suspect Apple exaggerates a lot more than this story points out. But here’s why I don’t care: Apple and Jobs are just as brilliant at marketing as they are in R&D. They deliver highly desirable products and know how to sell them better than any other tech company. Should we believe all their claims? Of course not.

Nonetheless, thank you Valleywag for pointing this out but there’s no need to be so mean about it. Oh, did I mention that Valleywag is owned by Gawker Media, which owns Gizmodo, which is in a little bit of legal trouble regarding the lost iPhone episode?

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Eric Benderoff

Eric Benderoff is the principal of BendableMedia.com, an editorial services firm, and a founding member of the Appolicious content strategy team. His personal technology column for the Chicago Tribune has appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide. He is a regular guest on Chicago's WGN Radio and is a frequent commentator about consumer technology on national TV news programs.

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