Recently on June 24, 2011, the Sprint/HTC Evo 3D was made available to the Public. Almost a year ago to the day, the HTC Evo 4G was made available to the Public by Sprint and HTC. The Evo 4G broke all records I believe for the most Android Smart phones sold, then and now. The Evo 4G was a Blockbuster Hit for Sprint as well as HTC. Sprint couldn’t keep them in Stock, and HTC couldn’t manufacture them fast enough to keep up with the Demand. I waited a few months after the Evo 4G became available to purchase one, as I was so used to the Windows OS, and Android was fairly new at the time. I haven’t looked back since!
The Evo 3D has been available for at least 2 weeks. While this is a short amount of time, I think it is long enough to see how sales are going, and they are not going well. This is evident by a few things >>
1) there has already been 2 price drops in only 2 weeks time
2) the Evo 3D is being made available to the European Market. This may be because HTC sees the writing on the wall regarding the poor sales of the device in The USA, and wants to hedge their bets so to speak.
3) the feedback on the forums.
4) Sprint’s deafening silence on the sales figures of the Evo 3D in contrast to the Evo 4G a year ago
5) the overwhelming supply of the Evo 3D available in Stores. No back orders, no lines, etc.
HTC and Sprint figured that with such a Blockbuster as the Evo 4G, they wanted to ‘Improve’ on their Record Selling Device and ‘make it better.’ Nothing wrong with this idea as a year had passed and technology, especially in the ‘Android’ department is extremely fast growing. So what they did was take the Evo 4G and add a 1.2Ghz Dual Core Snapdragon processor, upgraded from the 1Ghz processor from a year ago, increased the ROM from 1GB to 4GB, increased the RAM from 512mb to 768mb?, gave it Sense 3.0, upgraded from the Sense 1.0, and gave it a 3D 5mp Dual Camera lenses, changed from the 8mp camera from a year ago, a side mounted switch to change from 2D/3D and a dedicated side mounted camera button.
The above Upgrades were very welcomed from the Sprint Community, but there was a lot of criticism surrounding the 3D camera such as ‘is it really necessary?, ‘it’s a gimmick,’ it doesn’t work,’ it’s a downgrade from the previous 8mb camera,’ 3D technology on cellphones is in it’s infancy,’ I would have purchased the Evo 3D if it didn’t have that 3D on it,’ etc., etc. On the other side of the aisle were those saying ‘3D technology is the wave of the future,’ ‘if you don’t like the 3D, just turn it off,’ ‘I want to be one of the first in the USA to get the first 3D Android device,’ I want to show off the 3D pictures to my friends,’ etc., etc. As I mentioned, there was a lot of criticism surrounding the 3D camera on the Evo 3D, and many were saying this was and is the reason for the poor sales. The 3D camera has it’s supporters and detractors. The supporters tell the others to get over it and just flip the switch if you don’t want the 3D. Well it’s more than just that. Because of the Dual 3D dual camera lenses, you have the following which can’t be switched off >
1) the screen is different in order to view 3D pictures so the viewing angles are different and some say the screen is darker.
2) there is a camera side switch and a camera side button. Some don’t care for these switches on the side of their device
3) the physical appearance of the phone is different due to the 3D dual camera set up
4) because of the dual 3D camera lenses and the battery, there is no room for a kickstand.
In addition, let’s not forget that Sprint’s advertising dollars mostly concentrated on the 3D camera aspect of the Evo 3D. We saw this in commercials as well as print. While I give consumers more credit than just to concentrate on what Sprint wants you to concentrate on, there are reasons why Millions of Dollars are spent on Advertising. Because it Influences Consumers! In this case, maybe for the worse. Sprint didn’t concentrate on publicizing the internal improvements of their device, but instead chose to concentrate on selling the 3D aspect of their Evo 3D to consumers.
I think it’s much more than just the 3D camera that accounts for the poor sales. HTC and Sprint not only made internal changes to the Evo 3D which is welcomed by the vast majority of consumers, but they also made a few external changes, and I’m not just talking about the 3D dual camera. The following external changes were made >>
1) the Evo 3D is slightly longer and narrower
2) the screen resolution is different, as well as the viewing angles. Some say the screen is slightly darker.
3) the rear cover is of a different texture, which encloses the 3D dual camera lenses.
4) there is no kickstand
5) there is a camera switch (2D/3D) and a camera button on the lower right side of the device
6) the usb/charging port is on the side, not on the bottom
7) the speaker is smaller
As you can see, there were many physical changes made to the Evo 3D as compared the Evo 4G. Some say for the better, and some say for the worse. Some say these changes are no big deal, and an improvement. All I’ll say is that there was a lot of Noise surrounding Customer’s dismay at not having the kickstand on the Evo 3D. To me it’s no big deal, but the general consensus is that it is a big deal. I’m pointing out that just this minor change is a Deal Breaker to many which shows the sensitive temperament of customers, and that one never knows how customers will react to change, no matter how insignificant Manufacturers such as HTC, or service providers such as Sprint may view them.
There’s an old saying ‘If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it.’ This doesn’t mean that Manufacturers and Providers shouldn’t make improvements to older devices in the manufacturing of their Newer & Improved Models. Of course they should, and it is almost Mandatory for them to do so by upgrading to the current technologies made available in the course of a year, but HTC/Sprint did more than just that. And there lies the problems and the reasons why the Evo 3D is not selling nearly as well as the Evo 4G, or as had been predicted by HTC and Sprint. Sprint and HTC made too many changes to their Award winning Evo 4G in hopes of repeating it’s success with the Evo 3D, but in doing so, achieved the opposite.
Sometimes ‘Less is More,’ and in this case, that never rang so true.