In a move that could only be viewed as a step in the right direction, Sprint has just made a major move in the battle against bloatware. It's newly-unveiled Custom Branded Device Program is being introduced just as prepaid carriers are beginning to see something of a resurgence. In a nutshell, the initiative enables its MVNO partners (carriers like Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile) to customize white-label Android phones. In case you needed to hear it another way, it'll give those partners the ability to "completely de-brand devices from Sprint." Of course, this opens the door for said partners to litter these phones with their own software, but it also provides an option to see phones in a manner that Americans rarely see unless they opt for pricier global (and unlocked) models.
Sprint is hoping that the program will allow its MVNO partners -- carriers who sell phones under their own brand but actually rely on Sprint's network for service -- to "have greater, and potentially quicker, access to a large selection of completely de-branded marquee Android handsets out of Sprint and Boost Mobile device inventory with volume pricing included." Presently, Sprint has three devices available for this program -- LG Optimus G, LG Mach and Sprint Flash -- but additional devices are expected to be added by the month's end. Perhaps most interestingly, we reported back in July of 2011 that Sprint was making a "conscious decision to scale back bloatware on smartphones." Here's hoping that decision is soon realized.