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First WiMAX handset not Sprinting from stores

Initial sales optimistically overstated

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US operator Sprint has admitted inaccurately claiming that its HTC EVO 4G handset had outsold the Palm Pre and Samsung Instinct combined, by three times in a third of the time.

The handset is the first in the US to use Sprint's WiMAX network, existing customers being dongle-based. The operator claimed to have shifted three times as many EVOs in the first day as the combination of Pre and Instinct managed in their first three days after launch - impressive figures, but not actually true.

"We inadvertently erred in the comparison," the company coughed in a statement, instantly dropping analysts' expectations from 300,000 units to a rather-less-impressive 150,000 despite first day sales still being twice what the Pre managed and six times the Instinct's showing.

But even 150,000 sales isn't a disaster, and those are all customers who'll stick with Sprint if they want to maintain the speed that WiMAX promises.

Initial sales are probably less important than the experience of those customers - the EVO is a chunky Android handset (2.1) with a pretty screen but was never going to garner the kind of attention that Apple or Palm managed, so doubling the sales of the latter is still impressive. But, more importantly, if the WiMAX network performs as advertised then users may well get used to speeds that, for the moment at least, only Sprint can provide. ®

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