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Virgin Mobile Prefers Stock Android on All of Their Phones, We Wish Other Carriers Would Take Note

I know this has nothing to do with Verizon, but we just wanted to point out how awesome it is as we head into the weekend.  Remember yesterday’s post that we got all excited over which had to do with the Motorola Triumph as a surprisingly stock Android device headed to Virgin Mobile?  Apparently stock/vanilla Android is the standard on Virgin for a number of reasons:  consistency, freedom to customize and a love for the true Android experience.

In an email to our friends at PCMag (whom we’re still trying to forgive for this piece), Virgin had this to say:

“Virgin Mobile USA aims to make available devices that allow the end user to have the freedom to customize the device to their liking. We like to take a consistent approach with our Android portfolio and so we prefer to have the true Android experience loaded on all our Android phones,” a Virgin spokesperson said.

They might be a small carrier when compared to Verizon, Sprint and AT&T, but man do I wish their CEO would sit down and have a conversation with some of those other big mobile leaders after hearing this news.  Can you imagine a world that actually let Android be Android?  Mmmm.

All we’ve ever asked for is a choice from these carriers that demand manufacturer skins be preloaded.  And I don’t mean a choice of which device has a certain skin, I’m talking about the option to choose whether or not our device loads up stock or something else on that first boot up.  We know that one of the arguments for these skins is to differentiate, but differentiating doesn’t mean funneling.  When I buy a device at full retail price, you should let me decide what goes on that puppy.  Ask me when I buy it if I want it to be stock or skinned – how hard is that?

When you walk into a Best Buy to purchase a PC, they’ll ask you if you want the version with all the preloaded crapware on there or if you want a 100% clean version.  They may charge you another $20 or so for the clean version, but at least it’s an option.  They understand that not all consumers are the same and give them choices.  Why can’t mobile carriers do the same thing?  /end rant.

Via:  PCMag

  • Antyonebullard

    I actually possess this phone and I have to say that this phone is truly amazing. Wouldnt have it any other way. Way to go Virgin Mobile

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  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2a7usxg

  • Really wish Google would put limitations on handset manufacturers dropping overlays atop their OS.

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2df4ccp 

  • Anonymous

    Translation:  We can’t afford to pay the OEMs their fees for their modified UI overlays so we’re going to spin this as a positive.

    Hand vanilla OS to a non-tech/hack consumer and iOS to them and you’ll see why out of the box vanilla android will struggle.  You must go to the market before you can match the features.  Android just doesn’t have the same features and/or tight integration out of the box without the “terrible OEM overlays”.  Great for the DL crowd, bad for the average consumer.

    I love Android but I think when people talk about vanilla Android they are forgetting about the majority of people who actually buy phones are people who don’t come to these blogs.  The consumer needs all the other integration options OEMs delivery until vanilla Android can catch up.  The only thing “we” need is an unlocked bootloader as even if it was stock we would likely just load a rom anyway.

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2a7usxg

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2a7usxg

  • Anonymous

    Lmao read the comments in the PC Mag article linked to, a lot of people who won’t buy into the iBrainwash bullshit and know what they’re talking about better than a lot of tech blog writers, good to see!

  • Anonymous

    I’m hoping VM’s parent company, Sprint, decides to follow suit.

    If the AT&T/T-Mobile merger goes through, Sprint will need something to compete with AT&T/T-Mo and Verizon.  Stock Android and unlocked bootloaders would be a good way to differentiate their brand, without costing them anything…

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2df4ccp  

  • aww.. the world without shitty bloatware.. Maybe my droid X would run a lot smoother. FU VZW

  • Anonymous

    Ahh the ol Skinned vs. stock rant. I am one who wants the choice to choose. 

  • drewgy

    Sounds like I’m leaving Big V and heading to little v….

    • Jack Malenski

      you wanna be a virgin again?

  • Anonymous

    thisismynextphone

  • Eklinger79

    Amen to that!

  • So let me get this straight Virgin Mobile prefers their phones virgin?

  • Wyveryx

    Locked or Unlocked?

  • Nyreyn

    Now that a phone carrier has decided this it’s time for a phone company to make nothing but Stock Android phones.  A new start up company that used pure Stock Android with an unlockable and unencrypted/signed bootloader could probably start printing money.  

  • Nyreyn

    Now that a phone carrier has decided this it’s time for a phone company to make nothing but Stock Android phones.  A new start up company that used pure Stock Android with an unlockable and unencrypted/signed bootloader could probably start printing money.  

    • Anonymous

      Lets see, the Nexus One was on T- Mobile a is the Nexus S, the G2 and the G2X… how’s all that vanilla doing for Magenta’s sales? They must be picking up customers left and right… oh… wait.

  • michael scott

    lol. That PCMag piece sounds just like the biased writing over at BGR

  • Garrett

    This article is cool, and I’m glad a carrier is finally doing this. 
    But, this comment is about the PC MAG article link. WTF! They have to be kidding me, that comparison is such bullshit. I swear PC MAG should change their name to Apple MAG.

  • Kierra

    Y’all jumping carrier ships too? Naw …

  • jnt

    Though this is encouraging, they’ve only had 2 Android devices to date – the Samsung Intercept and the LG Optimus V.  The Intercept was not Vanilla at all – and frankly, kinda sucked.  The LG OptV has been a huge hit, and is a solid Android device, so maybe that helped change their mind on the issue… Now if only they could get their data connection to stay consistent in the few places they have coverage!

    • Anonymous

      The Intercept was and is vanilla, based on what I’ve seen on my brother’s phone. What wasn’t vanilla?

      • jnt

        sorry, in the images I saw I thought it had some Samsung UI on it, maybe I’m wrong…

        • jnt

          doesn’t look vanilla to me – not too bad, but not vanilla – different launcher and different status bar at the very least: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5O30l9l6mk

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/2a7usxg

  • Anonymous

    I dunno, there has been an awful lot of love for blur here lately

  • BillyBOB

    I feel like a virgin……For the very first time…….la da de da da

  • Hoosiercub

    Like I said earlier, if virgin really cared… This would be 2.3.4 not 2.2.1

  • Mr.Joe

    What is with you people and this fascination with stock?

    How many of you ACTUALLY run STOCK android on a stock android device?  You all put custom ROMs on it and custom launchers.  Hell you don’t even use half the STOCK apps.  

    Y’all make stock more over rated then it actually is.  Have a stock phone for a day you’ll be sick of it by the end.  It’s too slow for me, I hate the stock this and that.  GIVE ME LAUNCHER PRO MOFO!  BAAAA BAAAA BAAAA!!!!!

    • Yes, but the whole point is that with devices that start out stock it is easier to mod them and install custom roms than those with bloatware and ui skins

      • Ckoch0125

        No its not. Stock doesn’t make it any easier to root skins have nothing to do with how hard it is to change things.

    • this is actually true. in that one article that was asking what ROM’s the users were using, no one said OG Droid Stock. everyone runs CM7 anyway. Personally, i would look at carrier, and then phone, rather than phone then carrier. yea, Virgin might run Stock android, but how good is the phone if you don’t have the coverage and speed like Verizon? I’m perfectly happy with Sense. In fact, i think sense makes a lot of things easier. yea i like stock because if there are any changed made, asthetically, you can see them. But once you have those things, they get old anyway and lose it’s “magic.” So if you want stock, just get a phone with awesome hardware, and run CM7.

    • try a galaxy-s on for size, youll be begging for stock…

    • try a galaxy-s on for size, youll be begging for stock…

    • none

      Good point. But stock is great so you can customize yourself and break rule the rules and eventually use your phone to turn on all the lights in the house and flush the toilet for you too!

  • You all hear this and cheer ‘Yes stock Android on all Android phones! I hear this and think ‘so Virgin is only going to be carrying Nexus phones from now on.’

    As if they have the clout to dictate to HTC, Motorola and Samsung. Also since when do we cheer for the carrier dictating to the manufacturers. I want less power in the carriers hands and I would love to see Google and the manufacturers dictating to them.

    Also I kind of feel that if every device was forced to run stock Android, Android would be kind of boring. 

    The way it is now is great. If you want a stock Android device, get a Nexus. If you have an HTC device and don’t like Sense, install a third party launcher. End of story.

    • kholsey

      Unfortunately, there are no good vanilla phones with a hardware keyboard that are going to be available when I upgrade. Might just keep my Droid until Moto takes their collective heads out of their asses and trashes Blur so we can use Android as we want. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a compliment about Blur that didn’t have a few criticisms to counter it.

      Blur is pretty to some, useful to others, but slow and annoying to all.

    • Anonymous

      I think people are starting to miss the point. I don’t think anyone really has a problem with them putting the stuff on the phone, but they leave no option to take it off the phone. If HTC, Moto, etc.. wants to put on stuff so be it. but make it an app or something that can be much more easily removed.

      Because honestly. The people they want to target are the guppies who know nothing, and who would never think about changing their phone. If they make it removable they get what they want and then they let the minority community that loves customization to be happy.

  • Jon52772

    I loved this article…. id love to have a android phone that is stock!!! no skin or anything extra just stock!!!!

  • Anonymous

    If the majority here really love stock that much then just vote with your dollars people!  Take your business elsewhere and show Verizon you want a carrier that appreciates the value of freedom and choice in Android. 

    • Anonymous

      Because as much as we love stock android and choices with our devices, having service to make calls/texts/data is the #1 deciding factor.

      • Ckoch0125

        Agree otherwise I would have switched a long time ago. The other carriers just dont cut it in my area.

  • Pplsnap

    AMEN! We should have that choice or even the ability to do ourselves without the concern of warrenties or insurance. Its not like we didnt pay for the device.

  • J_bannach

    I prefer stock but this bitching about stock every other post has made this site almost unbearable. And with the post comes the same comments. Enough. Take a break from stock is the shit. None of you even run pure stock,

    • Anonymous

      When you skin over a manufacturer UI it still runs in the background, making the device slow. Skin over no UI means a faster device.

      • it means faster out of the box. not a faster unit in general. when you switch the ROM, it changes everything. no one on this site runs stock Android, out of the box.

  • J_bannach

    I prefer stock but this bitching about stock every other post has made this site almost unbearable. And with the post comes the same comments. Enough. Take a break from stock is the shit. None of you even run pure stock,

  • J_bannach

    I prefer stock but this bitching about stock every other post has made this site almost unbearable. And with the post comes the same comments. Enough. Take a break from stock is the shit. None of you even run pure stock,

    • Pete

      Enough, take a break from hitting the post key …

  • George Martin

    I bet phones like this will make people want to be virgins again. because then they will get stock android.

  • It would cost all these providers LESS money to just release phones with vanilla Android rather than try to reinvent the wheel. Let the dev community come up with replacement UIs and widgets and let the customers pick which one they want to use.

  • Virgin Mobile is owned by Sprint, just for the record. {{-_-}}

  • Tesseract 3

    This is so fitting, Virgin Mobile wants unmolested android on their phones, makes sense to me! 

    • Inkster09

      Hahaha

      • Tesseract 3

        If I made one person laugh it was all worth it. : )

  • EC8CH

    Either that or stop encrypting bootloaders. Ill install my own stock rom myself

  • EC8CH

    Amen brother

  • Finhead13

    All droid devices should run stock OS and I wish Google would phase-out this BS overlay, not to mention the unremovable bloatware.

    • Not necessarily phase it out. I wouldn’t care if Motorola put Blur on my phone as long as I have a way to go back to vanilla (i.e. unlocked bootloader). That’s ALL they need to do. Unlocked bootloader. Problem solved.

  • Grant Taylor

    Nitpicking, but Virgin Mobile isn’t actually a carrier it’s one of Sprint’s various prepaid brands. (Which is why the Triumph was announced at the Sprint event alongside the Photon.)
    So good on Sprint for experimenting with this novel policy in their off-brand sandbox. Hopefully it proves successful enough here to make inroads onto Sprint branded devices and plans.

  • Vazkor8

    HTC used to give the option when you hit the home key to use Sense or stock and set one as the default if you wanted to (I remember it from my wife’s Eris before she got an incredible).  Just treat the mfr skins like any other launcher skin and let you pick a default or have it ask you every time you hit the home button. How tough would that be?

  • George Martin

    i honestly don’t care about stock android, motoblur, or htc sense. i love my android phone and would never switch but i prefer downloadable home replacements. the best home replacement in my opinion with the least amount of customization is deff SPB Shell 3d. the moment i downloaded it i felt like i had a completely new phone. but its too powerful and fast that alot of phones can’t even handle it

    • If the cost wasn’t so high compared to its competitors I would seriously consider it, as it is very beautiful, but in the end cost is always a factor, and one I truly wish they would reexamine.  

      • George Martin

        Theres no way to fully try out the homescreen before buying it except for the 15 minute refund period so i don’t think you ever used it. but the homescreen is so perfect and fast that i don’t even consider it as an app. i consider it a whole new phone with the same physical design of another phone. it may be $15 but its just like buying an OS for a computer. Most of the newer android phones like the thunderbolt, atrix, and alot others are actually faster then some computers and even have more features. and upgrading a computer to the newest OS would cost over $100. so i don’t think $15 for a new android OS is that much but thats just my opinion. If you have a new and fast android phone i suggest trying it out.

        • Anonymous

          It feels like you work for SPB honestly. The way you word your responses feels very corporate. IMO, SPB mobile shell was necessary and an upgrade over winmo 6.x. It just looks dated and clunky on Android, and for $15 it’s way too expensive.

          • George Martin

            i dont work for SPB. lol. and i dont expect you to know how SPB really works on fast phones since you probably have an old phone if you think having 2 home screen replacements open at once slows down the phone. when i have 4 open at once. lol. i do agree that $15 is alot but for me it was like buying a whole new OS

    • Anonymous

      Sorry to keep repeating myself but I think people need to realize this. When you skin over a manufacturer UI it still runs in the background. It’s like dumping bbq sauce on a charred-overcooked piece of meat. Sure it’ll make it better, but why not cook it properly in the first place.

      Blur/sense/touchwiz/whatever, is still running in the background, slowing your phone down and killing the battery with unnecessary processes. You just don’t see it because you put a bag over it’s face.

      • Anonymous

        Love the analogy, Makes me want barbeque, mmmm.
        I would like to add to this. A perfect example of this point is sense’s awful contacts app. First of all, by default when you save a contact it saves it as “phone” but not as gmail/google. You have to hit that drop down tab and change it to “Google”. I know this because the first time I flashed a Rom on my thunderbolt I lost a couple contacts this way. Then it always has suggestions to “link” your contacts with other things, like its some type of genius robot. But all the suggestions tend to be email addresses that I already have saved as Google contacts. Redundant and stupid.

        • when you set up the phone, theres the option to sync the phone and it’s contacts to the google account. everytime i log in to another phone, my contacts are automatically there. i thin kthe contacts app on the thunderbolt is better than stock. i love that i can easily link the facebook pages with the contacts so i have their pics and info right there. on CM7, it’s impossible.

          • Anonymous

            “when you set up the phone, theres the option to sync the phone and it’s contacts to the google account.”
            Yessir, I realize that. But on the thunderbolt, when you go to add a contact for the first time, there’s a drop down option which chooses how to save the contact. The three options given are phone, Google, and SIM (I think). By default its set to phone, which won’t be sync’d to Google when you log in next time after, say, flashing a new rom. You have to always be careful to select Google and then it gets saved that way. My little brother and two friends at work have had the same experience. Now I am willing to admit I could be missing something. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      • Inkster09

        Well said

      • Peter Wilkinson

        yea but if you download a home replacement app you won’t even know that htc sense or motoblur is still on the phone. i’ve had an htc phone for a few months and downloaded SPB Shell 3d right when i got the phone and i didn’t even know what htc sense was until like 2 weeks ago. If you have a fast and powerful phone then having 2 home screen replacements open at once won’t effect the speed. i sometimes have 4 home screen replacements open at once and still never experience any lag. it does effect battery life but i dont think it matters on 4g phones like mine since battery life is already bad enough and i still didn’t notice that much of a difference when i turned off spb shell 3d.

        • Anonymous

          You missed the entire point of my post. And yes, it does effect the speed of the phone and battery life.

          • George Martin

            you must have an older phone. because i have the htc thunderbolt. I downloaded ADW Launcher, Launcher Pro, and SPB Shell 3d and have all 3 of them running at the same time plus HTC Sense. that makes 4 home screen replacements running at the same time. so if my phone has the ability to run 4 home screen replacement apps non stop and still let me constantly use 3 of them through out the entire day and still not experience even a little bit of lag then my phone must be pretty fast. since SPB shell 3d alone won’t even work on most phones because of how powerful and fast that app is alone. I’m just referring to the 4 homescreen replacements i use at once. i didn’t even mention all the weather and clock widgets i have running at the same time.

  • caseyisajim

    This is why I lost my Virgin Mobile-ity in Sept 2010.

  • Can you imagine how much money they could save by closing their blur division?  Or just by hiring some of our awesome devs to run the place?

  • If verizon didn’t have the best coverage an my area I would love to switch to someone who would carry stock android. But I will wait till HTC starts unlocking there bootloaders. Goodbye moto. 

  • Ron Paul 2012!!!

    Forget stock. I love HTC Sense UI 3.0.

    • Inkster09

      Yes sense is getting waaaay better but again setting> apps>manage apps>all =nightmare

      • Ron Paul 2012!!!

        Nothing is perfect.

        • Inkster09

          Vanilla android is the closest your gonna get. No glitches hiccups none of that. Yeah the few having problems will come out the woodwork i know.

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Lets just see if that’s an unlocked phone.  If it is, I’m impressed.

  • billy bob

    Im cuming to you virgin

    • Anonymous

      i see what you did there

    • Slllllyyy

      12 year old pervert 

  • Anonymous

    Well,  when I get my own plan, (I’m 17) I think I know who I’m getting!

    • Jeffrey Bartemus

      you want a virgin?

      • Anonymous

        Getting a cellular plan with*

  • Anonymous

    Again. Dual booting would solve EVERYTHING. Oh. Today I want stock, tomorrow I might want HTC sense. Seriously. Get with it.

    • Kevin Mahoney

      dual booting a skin on android is foolish, there is no point to having two system partitions.  an option to disable is what we really need.

  • Slllllyyy

    Stock Android looks BORING.
    The GB Blur is sweet.

    • I really hope this is a joke cause there are far better things than Blur. Many launchers to choose from. 

      • Anonymous

        Not agreeing about blur or anything, but i’ve heard many say they actually like gingerbread blur…

  • JoeInMO

    Stock Android = Beautiful.

    MotoBlur = Ugly, terrible, buggy, junk.

    • Agree MotoBlur sucks…hints the reason they have decided to no longer use the name behind motblur. lol

  • I wonder how hard it would be for manufacturers to offer 2 choices

    Their screwed up version and vanilla.

  • R Yarell

    LAME!

    • Ckoch0125

      Another great comment by dick yarell I’m surprised u aren’t sucking and praising this like you do every other sprint thing

  • Ezra Byrd

    The thing is, as I see it, is that Virgin really needs to keep their customers happy. In order to keep them from fleeing to a big contender like VZW/AT&T. They know stock Android is what makes people happy. Whereas VZW just needs to make cash, and the truth is, blur looks “Shiny.” So it sells sells sells. (Why do you think so many people have an iPhone? It’s shiny.)

    • people dont’ go to VZW cause blur is shiney. lol i know maybe 2 or 3 people personally that have Blur phones and the rest have Evos or thunderbolts. people go to verizon because they have awesome service and unlimited 4G for no extra cost.

  • Anonymous

    where do I sign my name

  • Sadly Verizon doesnt care at all, if only right?

  • Anonymous

    *golfclap*

    I wish Verizon would understand this.

    • Kevin Mahoney

      liked for the *golfclap*

    • Inkster09

      Lol golfclap lol

  • silksmooth

    First!

  • Take notes Verizon!

    • R Yarell

      Lame!

      • Meach

        Stop trolling you greasy bear!

    • Ckoch125

      +1

    • Inkster09

      That Motorola looks soooo nice w vanilla