Sprint 4G Rollout Update
Sunday, March 25, 2012 - 5:00 AM MDT
Every Evo ever released on Sprint’s network has been manufactured by HTC. Does this necessarily mean that it is exclusive to HTC? The “Droid” line of Verizon phones have been manufactured by Motorola, HTC and Samsung. Would Sprint consider extending the Evo name to another handset maker as Verizon has done?
Sprint and Evo
[float right][/float]The Evo “franchise” has defined Sprint’s Android line of phones since the HTC Evo 4G burst onto the scene and redefined the way we look at smartphones. The mere fact that Sprint still sells the device nearly 2 years after its release is telling of how great a handset it is. HTC followed up the success of the Evo 4G with the HTC Evo Shift 4G, a slider phone with a physical keyboard. The HTC Evo 3D is seen by some as the successor to the original Evo, but others see it as a whole different offering, due to its inclusion of 3D camera and glasses-free 3D screen. The final smartphone in the Evo series is the smaller, lighter, world phone, the HTC Evo Design 4G. HTC also produced a tablet with Evo badging, the 7 inch HTC Evo View 4G.
Verizon and Droid
Similar to Sprint's Evo line, the “Droid” line of phones has defined Verizon’s high-end Android powered phones. Some argue that the Droid line has been watered down with a steady stream of Droid badged phones hitting shelves. There have been 15 “Droids” released starting with the Motorola Droid in October 2009. This amounts to a new Droid every 2 months on average. Motorola has accounted for nearly 75% of the models, but HTC (3) and Samsung (1) have also provided Droid branded models to Verizon.
T-Mobile’s “my-touch” line, while not known as high end phones, but more of a family friendly line, has seen models from HTC and LG. Even Huawei is rumored to be manufacturing a my-touch model for T-Mobile’s network.
[float right][/float]One might say that the Evo branding is HTC’s brand, similar to how Samsung has used the “galaxy” branding. Samsung has released “galaxy” smartphones, tablets and even android powered media players. The difference is that Samsung’s use of the galaxy badge has extended across carriers and, as seen with the media players, extended to non-wireless carrier electronics. The Evo brand has stayed with Sprint, with no “Evo” branded electronics being released (other than an international GSM version of the Evo 3D) which makes it appear to be Sprint exclusive.
What does the Evo future hold?
What can we expect from Sprint’s Evo line moving forward? Many think that the HTC Jet will be the next in the Evo line, but it has been rumored on this very site that HTC may abandon the Evo name to consolidate their product line. With the original Evo and Evo Shift getting “long in the tooth,” will Sprint find successors from any willing manufacturer to refresh their iconic line with a slab and slider? What manufacturers should Sprint consider, and would those manufacturers be willing to shed their own brands and assume the Evo branding? Should Sprint let the Evo name ride off into the sunset if HTC abandons the line? There are a lot of questions surrounding the name “Evo,” but we could see at least a partial answer on April 4th when HTC and Sprint announce their most recent collaboration.