HTC And Sprint Working On Software Updates That Remove Carrier IQ

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Most of the furor surrounding the Carrier IQ diagnostic software has wound down by now, but that doesn’t mean that the companies involved have already forgotten. HTC has confirmed to The Verge that they were working with Sprint to push out maintenance updates that would remove the Carrier IQ software from affected devices.

The rollout already seems to have begun, albeit slowly — a recent update for the Evo 3D has indeed removed Carrier IQ, along with packing some battery and performance fixes. There’s no word yet on when other devices will soon experience life without Carrier IQ, though I imagine it’ll take some time to bake up an update for each particular handset.

Samsung couldn’t be reached for comment at time of writing, but hopefully they’re working on something similar as more than a few of their Android handsets have been revealed to run the Carrier IQ software.

Sprint has been in something of a holding pattern recently where Carrier IQ was concerned. Back in December, representatives from the country’s third-largest wireless carrier confirmed that Sprint would no longer be “tasking” devices for diagnostic data, although they made no mention of any efforts to remove the software. Well, no public mention anyway.

Geek.com reported at the time that Sprint had entered into back-room talks with several of their hardware partners (HTC included) in which they stressed the importance of removing the Carrier IQ software from affected devices on the network as soon as possible. Not a surprising move considering the kerfuffle they and other companies were embroiled in thanks to Carrier IQ’s initial PR blunders, but announcing that they were taking steps to remedy the issue via software update could have scored Sprint some serious brownie points.

If I had to guess, it all came down to an issue of timing — if Sprint made it publicly known that they and their hardware partners were working on a fix with no ETA, they would open themselves up to scores of emails, forum posts and blog entries about why the company has yet to deliver. Rather than risk another PR headache, Sprint (perhaps wisely) kept their collective head down until things blew over, and are now working to make things right.