Sprint ran into some trouble getting the HTC Evo 4G LTE into the hands of those who pre-ordered the handset, and it looks like the company's making it up to customers: it's apparently sending free gel covers to pre-order buyers along with their new phone. A tipster sent us a shot of the cover, plus a note saying "HTC and Sprint want to thank you for your pateience as we know you have been anticipating the arrival of your new HTC Evo 4G LTE. Please accept this accessory as a small token of our appreciation and thanks." We're not sure if this gesture is being extended to every pre-order customer, but we've reached out to Sprint and will update when we hear back. Either way, it's a nice gesture from the two companies, and should go a long way toward making up for the delays — though it offers little solace to those who didn't pre-order the Evo, and are still waiting for a chance purchase the handset.

Update: Sprint reps let us know that everyone who pre-ordered the device is receiving the case, which should "surprise and delight" you. Or so we're told. We're also told that you can't exchange the accessory for a different one. If you haven't gotten yours yet, keep watch for the mailman.

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Thanks, cwchase!