We knew the EVO 4G launch would be huge. Any new Android handset, especially on a carrier that doesn’t feature many, will get some big press. That the 4G works on a dual CDMA/WiMax radio makes it even more exciting. The anticipation leading up to last Friday’s launch was palpable. When, that morning, we heard that Sprint’s systems were having troubles with their activation systems, we could only imagine how many units they had sold. Earlier in the week, Sprint made a vague announcement regarding its EVO 4G sales. Though it did not provide an exact number, the press release boasted of sales that dwarfed its previous best launches, which came for the Palm Pre and the Samsung Instinct. According to the press release, the EVO sales were “three times the number of Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre devices sold over their first three days on the market combined.” Whether that meant the three days each combined, or the three-day sales for the Pre and Instinct combined is a small matter. The big deal is the enormous number Sprint made this out to be. How big? Again, Sprint wouldn’t say. Boy Genius Report heard the number was as high as 200,000. That came from a Sprint source, however, so perhaps it was a bit overinflated. For contrast, the original iPhone sold about 500,000 units in its first weekend, all the way back in June 2007. No one expected the EVO to outsell the iPhone; Sprint doesn’t have nearly the number of customers AT&T did. Also, while there was certain hype around the EVO, it still didn’t match that of the iPhone. Given that context, 200,000 units seems pretty damn good. Except the number probably wasn’t that high. As Phandroid notes, Sprint has kind of stepped back from their original, lofty report. One analyst cut his estimate in half, from 300,000 to 150,000. Still, that’s not too too far off from the number BGR heard. Sprint has also backed off its comparison to the Pre and Instinct, saying that the EVO’s numbers were “in line” with the previous two, while the original press release had that optimistic three-times claim. Again, this isn’t a huge deal. No one expected the EVO to break sales records on its first weekend. That WiMax still isn’t available in all major U.S. markets makes the device immediately less attractive to customers. Also, because of the nature of two-year contracts, some people just can’t get the device right now. It was a bit easier with the original iPhone, since it was unsubsidized. The good news, in a way: there are still shortages of the device. That’s obviously not good news for people who want the device and want it now. But it’s good news in that the demand is still there. In fact, it might have been impossible to hit that 300,000 unit mark, because there might not have been that many devices available. Once Sprint re-ups its stock, we could see the EVO continue to fly off shelves. I suspect that we could see a few more waves of sales once Sprint/Clearwire roll out WiMax in some other big markets. It might have been a disappointment given the rosy initial forecasts, and it might be embarrassing for Sprint to retract those estimates, but all in all the news is good for Sprint, HTC, and Android. The EVO sold well, about as well as it physically could. Keep ‘em coming, and I’m sure we’ll see plenty more leave Sprint shelves.