Virgin Mobile will keep its Android phones pure by omitting manufacturer skins

If you’ll recall, we reported yesterday that the Motorola Triumph, that surprise little powerhouse headed to Virgin Mobile this summer, will be Blur-less. That’s right: Vanilla Froyo on a prepaid carrier. We’re officially excited. Today, a Virgin Mobile spokesperson explained the decision to PCMag, citing the company’s commitment to the user experience, and ultimately customization. In short, Virgin Mobile's policy is to retain “the true Android experience” on all of its Android offerings. No word yet on whether or not that translates to other goodies like unlocked bootloaders, and whether or not manufacturers will play ball, but it’s certainly refreshing to see a carrier as big a fan of Android as we are.

Source: PCMag

Anndrew Vacca
  • Now if verizon will only do this....
  • I dropped verizon for Virgin, and never looked back, except for having more cash in my wallet!
  • Hows the service been working out for you? I was thinking about doing the same thing. Maybe keeping both lines for now to see how it goes. This is a nice little phone, on top of the extra $30 bucks a month in my pocket is very tempting.Vanilla Android FTW!
  • I guess that really depends on where you live, I had all sorts of troubles here in b-more with the big red, dropping calls, 3g connection issues, not to mention they eff with the hardware on your phone (palm pre plus~blocked my damn a-gps), i don't believe paying a company that works AGAINST its customers. I switched to VM I believe 6 months ago, and I have had way less issues with them than I ever did with Verizon. I have the 25.00 300 mins/mo and unlimited everything else and couldn't be happier with my optimus V. Now I have VM USA on my Facebook and all I see are complaints~ far from what I've ever been through. I will tell you this, forget about their over the phone customer service, it is a joke, but I guess that keeps the costs down, because their online customer service has a 24 hour or less turn around rate ~ what I go through if I have questions, changes etc. So do the right thing, test it out on a cheap device, if it works for you, than think about porting your number. 55.00/mo savings over verizon (or any other major carrier) PRICELESS!!
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  • Good on them! If they unlock the bootloader, this could get interesting!
  • gotta Love a carrier with this mindset. nothing wrong with Vanilla, if you want to switch just download a Launcher or go extra mile and Root. i prefer a Launcher because the ROMs i've come across for my Sprint Hero suck.
  • Good i love virgin phones. I hate ones that wear chastity belts **cough cough BIG RED cough cough **, and i hate ones that been molested to no end. ** Cough cough MotoBlur, Sense cough cough **
  • This is great news!!
  • Virgin Mobile, you have my attention.
  • Vanilla tastes good, and VM's plan costs like half of what VZ charges, but that 5GB throttle is a hard pill for some of us to swallow...
  • This is great and all, but you have to ask the question. Do you think they are doing this because it's just cheaper to do? Virgin is all about getting phones to people on the cheap. So if there are no skins I imagine there then there are probably less fees tied up with developement of the phones. The size and shape of this phone screams "Carrier Dev Phone". Basically it's bargain basement. But I do commend Virgin for doing (or taking credit) for this. Not because it's cool of them to do, but because they are smart enough to recognize that the Android Community would respond possitively to this. They knew what strings to pluck. That just means they are listening and could always lead to better things.
  • Well, they do have to make the phones cheap enough to be affordable. Remember, with VM, you aren't buying on contract, so imagine how much a phone like the Thunderbolt would cost in a scenario like that. They could be carving out an interesting niche for themselves. Vanilla Android means OS updates could come faster, since you don't have to also update a UI overlay. And maybe, just maybe, they'll go further and, if not eliminate preinstalled apps, at least make them uninstallable. At any rate, I think they're on to something here.
  • If they're so concerned with it as such.. then why is it Froyo instead of Gingerbread 2.3.4?
  • Agreed, but keep in mind that vanilla Android should be much simpler to update, since you don't have to worry about breaking a custom UI overlay when you update the OS.
  • What's Virgin's track record on upgrades?
  • There was delay in the froyo update on the intercept but they pushed it out and I never heard about anyone having any problems with it. That's the only android phone they have that received a update so far.
  • Virgin Mobile still doesn't roam, right? I had them a few years ago because there was service where I worked, but found out later none where I lived. I decided to go with Verizon 2 year contract because their coverage is great in my area. But vanilla and cheaper sounds good together, though. Improve the coverage, and they'll have my interest.
  • I like this, wish Verizon would offer more vanilla handsets.. I saw someone post that they think VW likes the skins cause it helps them differentiate devices when selling to the average consumer.. which as Phil has said before, us here on AC are not the average consumer.. but I think there is truth to that statement, instead of having Android they have HTC, Motorola, Samsung and LG which makes it look to the average consumer that they have a lot of options.. more is better right?!
  • i am going to have to give this a try.
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  • The only major problem with the Intercept update was the way they did the OTA updates. I don't know if this is common with all android phone updates, but Virgin alleged that they sent the update to 5000 phones at a time, several times every day. I waited for a week before getting fed up & downloading a copy of the signed updater that somebody uploaded to Rapidshare. That was really awful of them, but then again, I can't get my Nexus One to update to gingerbread, no matter how long I leave it on. Even when I go to settings & tell it to update to the latest version, my N1 lies to me & tells me that its version of Froyo is the latest version. I do wish Virgin would have told us more about the changes on the Froyo update. The browser used to allow around 6 or 7 open tabs, but now it does no more than 4. Also, I used to be able to download some videos through the browser, but now it tries to auto-play them instead. I'd much rather download the entire video file & play it in one fell swoop, rather than wait through interminable buffering delays. If I had the ability, I would gladly downgrade my OS back to the original Eclair factory settings. I've no plans to leave Virgin at all. I just want to see some practices improved.