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HTC EVO 4G User Complaints Surface

Sprint HTC EVO 4G Smartphone
(click image for larger view)
Sprint HTC EVO 4G Smartphone

HTC's EVO 4G, widely viewed as Sprint's answer to the Apple iPhone, has gotten off to a somewhat shaky start since its debut earlier this month. Reports over the past few days indicate complaints with the touchscreen on the otherwise well-received EVO 4G.

Specifically, some users claim that the screen separates from the device and causes light leakage. "This could cause a major issue in the long run with dust entering the device,'' wrote a user in an HTC forum. "There seems to be some kind of glue failure happening or faulty manufacturing in a lot of the units."

Other users have reported problems with the responsiveness of the device's touchscreen. "Top half of screen has a loss of touch capability/responsiveness when placed flat on various surfaces,'' wrote another user. "This has been verified by users using the phone bare, [and with] hard cases, invisible shields, and silicone cases."

One of the user forum posts went on to explain that on certain types of surfaces, such as a cloth car seat or bed, if the phone is set down flat and a user attempts to swipe the top shade down, it will not work.

Earlier this month, another HTC EVO 4G glitch was reported when some users began receiving messages of "insufficient file permissions" taking photos and video due to an issue with the device's 8 GB microSD card. Sprint subsequently released an online update to address the problem.

Caroline Semerdjian, Sprint communications manager, said of the latest complaints, "We understand from HTC that it has not replicated the issue internally and is working to acquire a device with this reported issue. Until HTC investigates further, we can’t make a definitive statement on the root cause."

"This is one of the first 4G phones and I would expect there to be issues related to the radio, battery, power consumption, things like that … but displays are something that are fairly well understood, so I find it surprising this would be an issue and they wouldn't have solved this before it comes out of the box," said Ken Hyers, senior analyst, mobile devices, for Technology Business Research. HTC, he added, has built a reputation for being a high quality smartphone manufacturer.

If enough problems occur, people will obviously start returning them to Sprint for replacement devices, Hyers said, and a recall, while a serious move, always remains a possibility. "It's certainly a blow to this device because the reviews have been very positive. I'm still waiting for my device."

Despite these minor hitches, the 4G EVO has had a successful debut. Sprint launched the EVO 4G on June 4 for $199 and said it set a single-day sales record, although the company later acknowledged it overestimated how many EVO 4G units it actually sold.

Still, the EVO 4G has garnered a lot of attention for Sprint in spite of last week's launch of the fourth-generation iPhone.

Sprint has expressed confidence that the EVO 4G will be able to counteract the phenomenon Apple has witnessed with customers waiting in lines to purchase a new iPhone upon release.