After any wireless trade show, I’m often asked something to the effect of “who came up with the most innovative product this time around?” While the question can vary depending on who asks, the intent is always the same: they want to know what the heart stopping new product was. What the “cool” thing to have in six months will be. The "hot item."
At CTIA 2010, I would give the award to Sprint and the HTC EVO 4G, for a number of reasons:
- It’s the first wireless phone to offer 4G connectivity in the US. Perhaps more importantly, it works on a 4G network that’s available right now (in other words, it’s not LTE).
- Essentially, It’s the HTC HD2 – but with Android 2.1 instead of Windows Mobile 6.5. Most tech journalists (myself included) will tell you that they loved the HD2, but longed for a device that took the form factor to the Android platform. The HTC EVO is the device to have. And it has HTC’s Sense UI to boot!
- The 4.3-inch screen is gorgeous. Enough said. And for the movie buffs, the EVO comes with a kickstand.
- It has a 8.0-megapixel camera on the back of the device, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. The aforementioned camera is capable of 720p HD video capture.
With the EVO 4G, I feel like Sprint pulled out all of the stops. Want a Snapdragon processor? How about 4G? Gorgeous screen tickle your fancy? It’s all there.
The concern that comes to mind with the EVO is whether consumers will adopt it en-masse like they’ve done with other mobile products like the iPhone, and to a lesser extent, the DROID. This is where Sprint comes into play. The company MUST create an effective advertising campaign around the EVO. None of the Dan Hesse “I’m in a street and really want you to sign up for Sprint” commercials. This has to be different. Show me what the phone can do. Don’t tell me that it has a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, show me how I can use it to chat with my friend in Canada. Show me how downloading movies on 4G is significantly faster than 3G. Mainstream consumers like it to be simple and easy to use – be sure to highlight that in the campaign.
Additionally, Sprint needs to work on expanding their 4G footprint between now and the EVO's "Summer 2010" launch. I'm fortunate enough to be in a 4G coverage area, but c'mon - San Francisco, New York City, Boston, and San Diego residents are still sitting on 3G (though some of these markets have been announced as coming in "the near future"). If Sprint really wants mainstream adoption, they need to have 4G available in these population-dense markets.
I genuinely believe that Sprint can make the EVO an incredible success, if they market it properly. What say you?