What is Sprint ID? It is Sprint’s custom version of Android that is coming to “most all of” their products next year, but I’m still having a hard time figuring out exactly what Sprint is doing with it long-term.
Sprint explains the ID platform to their customers as follows: “Make your phone a reflection of who you are. Sprint ID lets you cut through the clutter by selecting mobile ID Packs featuring apps, ringers, wallpapers, widgets and more. It’s all about you and the things you love to do.”
Basically from what I have gathered (and I’m sure a few Sprint execs will cringe at this), Sprint ID is a theming system for Android that comes with its own segmented market. Customers can download “ID Packs” from the Sprint ID Store, which are a collection of apps you can mostly find in the Android Market.
We briefly previewed Sprint ID during CTIA, but have not really given it that much coverage because it was limited to three low-end Android phones so far. That’s going to change soon because Sprint ID is coming to the Epic 4G, Galaxy Tab, and most of Sprint’s other Android devices.
In an interview on The Engadget Show, Sprint product chief Fared Adib detailed the future of Sprint ID. “We have launched it on three phones today. We are actually going to be porting it to most all of our products”. When questioned if that included the popular HTC EVO 4G, his response was “No”.
As we saw in the comments of the last Sprint ID story, some users were upset about having another custom UI forced onto their phone. Sprint’s response is that the default Spint ID pack offers a blank desktop and this is their “stock Android experience” for users who do not wish to download any ID Packs.
I haven’t heard them specifically say it, but part of me thinks that Sprint ID will become Sprint’s own app store, just like Verizon recently launched V Cast Apps. If the Sprint ID store can distribute apps and it comes on every Sprint phone, what else do you think they will do with it?
The big U.S. carriers have final say about the products they launch and the operating systems that ship with them, so if Sprint wants to do away with HTC’s Sense UI, Motorola’s Motoblur, and Samsung’s TouchWiz, then they have every right to do so.
Sprint has to deal with the growing pains of Android (fragmentation) just like every other carrier, and it sounds like Sprint ID could be the solution to get all their Android products in line and make it cheaper to provide software updates and service them.
If you are curious what Spint ID will do to your Android phone, this is what it will look like.
What do you think of Sprint ID? Is this the solution to Android fragmentation?