HTC EVO 4G shortages undermine Sprint's WiMAX advantage admits Hesse

Sprint's patchy stock of the HTC EVO 4G has limited the impact of their early entrance into the 4G market, according to CEO Dan Hesse, telling the WSJ that "we thought we would have more of a head start than we'll end up having."  HTC says the delay in handsets is down to shortages in stocks of components like touchscreens, and that they're looking to new suppliers to boost production capacity; according to HTC spokesman Keith Nowak, the company is even monitoring flights to the US to get last-minute shipping space for the EVO 4G – and the Verizon Droid Incredible, similarly in short supply – as it rolls fresh off the production line and thus speed up availability.

Hesse blames the recession and manufacturers response to it – "general high-tech capacity was taken offline and now it needs to be brought back up" – while Sprint continues to heap emphasis on 4G sales.  Executive bonus calculations now take twice as much notice of WiMAX subscriptions as they did before, jumping from 10- to 20-percent.  Meanwhile Verizon's own LTE network should launch in certain markets by the end of 2010, and AT&T plan their own 4G network for 2011.