If you've ever wondered what companies take your advice (read: complaints) to heart, here's yet another one that is: Sprint. Recently, HTC received oodles of praise from a minuscule-but-passionate group of folks who appreciate the company's stance on unlocking its bootloaders, and today we learned that folks at The Now Network made a similarly impressive change after hearing yet another enthusiastic sect... our readers. If you'll recall, Sprint's VP of Product Development Fared Adib appeared on the November 2010 episode of The Engadget Show, and it was during that appearance that he heard a rather shrill cry of users begging for a smaller amount of "bloatware," or at the very least, bloatware that users could customize or outright remove. For those unfamiliar with the term, it generally refers to applications that are preloaded onto devices from the carrier; by and large, these clutter up the application grid, and many power users aren't exactly enthralled by any carrier-imposed OS changes.

In speaking at length today with Adib during a Sprint campus walkthrough, he confessed that he jetted back from NYC and immediately informed his team that the bloatware needed to go. To quote: "Ben, we've got to get rid of these preloaded apps on our devices. A lot of customers don't want this." You may have noticed a dearth of those very apps on the EVO 3D, and according to Fared, customer feedback on the newly cleaned slate has been overwhelmingly positive. We inquired on whether this approach would be pushed across the company's product spectrum, and he seemed eager to admit that it would. In fact, Sprint's taking quite the different approach internally than some folks may be used to. It's effectively trying to get out of the way in as many areas as possible, and in turn, litter your future phones with as little content as possible. In fact, he's pushing to make whatever programs Sprint does preload user-removable, and it's a mantra we can only hope other carriers latch onto. Nothing against NASCAR, of course, but having the ability to burn rubber in our own way is definitely preferred.

P.S. - This slide was just one of many, and is definitely not a comprehensive view of partners and plans. We were specifically informed to not read into it as a solo slide.

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Sprint's Fared Adib: we made a conscious decision to scale back bloatware on smartphones