Sprint is hoping to give their prepaid partners a boost with the introduction of their Custom Branded Device Program. The initiative, which in summary will allow MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) partners like Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile to gain access to white-label Android phones that are free and clear of Sprint branding and bloatware.
If you weren’t already aware, these cheaper prepaid carriers typically sell phones and service under their own brand but rely on larger national carriers – in this case, Sprint – for service. In a press release on the matter, Sprint said MVNOs will have greater and potentially quicker access to a larger selection of completely de-branded marquee Android handsets with volume pricing included.
As of writing there are three handsets participating in the program: the LG Optimus G, the LG Mach and the Sprint Flash. We are told, however, that additional devices will be added by the end of the month.
So what exactly does this mean for the average consumer? Well, it could work out one of two ways. If we are lucky, the prepaid partners will simply sell the debranded / bloatware-free handsets as they arrive out of the box. This means no clunky overlays or pre-installed software to contend with.
Alternately, the prepaid carriers could elect to load the phones up with bloatware and overlays of their choosing which may mean more revenue for the carrier but no relief for the consumer. Here’s to hoping that carriers go with the former option rather than the latter.