Sprint says it overstated EVO launch day sales

NEW YORK/BANGALORE Wed Jun 9, 2010 12:48am EDT

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NEW YORK/BANGALORE (Reuters) - Sprint Nextel Corp said on Tuesday it had inadvertently overstated the launch day sales of the much anticipated EVO 4G phone from HTC Corp, which is touted as a serious competitor to Apple's iPhone 4.

Sprint said on Tuesday the total number of HTC EVO 4G devices sold on the launch day was in line with the number of Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre devices sold over their first three days on the market combined.

"We originally reported that the total number of HTC EVO 4G devices sold on launch day was three times the number of Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre devices sold over their first three days on the market combined.

"We inadvertently erred in the comparison," Sprint said in a statement on Tuesday.

BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk said he was cutting his estimate for EVO sales in the first weekend to 150,000 from his prior estimate of 250,000 to 300,000.

"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," Piecyk said.

The No. 3 U.S. wireless service provider said it sold six times more EVO phones on the launch date than it did Instinct phones from Samsung Electronics.

Sprint is hoping EVO will help it stem customer losses and give it a head start in selling 4G services. Its biggest rival, Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc, plans to launch 4G services later this year.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew and Sakthi Prasad; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Valerie Lee)

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