Following a report late yesterday over the weekend, Sprint today confirmed that it will indeed be the exclusive launch partner of the Essential Phone, a new smartphone from father-of-Android Andy Rubin who started on the venture after leaving Google. AT&T is the more likely choice, given its large customer base and the GSM network protocol it utilizes, which means that its phones are usually more friendly across borders internationally. In an interview with USA TODAY, Essential's President, Niccolo de Masi, said that the company's first smartphone will be exclusive to the fourth biggest carrier in the country.
Sprint mentions that the Essential Phone will be available later this summer and that it will be sold at all of the carrier's retail stores, telesales, and Sprint.com.
The Essential Phone can and will work with any of the major carriers thanks to its wealth of built-in radios which will support all the major names.
Sprint will be the only US carrier to offer the Essential Phone
Beyond that, de Masi reportedly cited Rubin's relationship with Masayoshi Son, the CEO of Japanese corporation SoftBank, which owns most of Sprint.
Sprint, once considered the third-largest United States wireless carrier behind Verizon and AT&T, now trails behind T-Mobile as the fourth largest player.
Rubin's upcoming gadget, dubbed the Essential phone, resembles the popular Apple (aapl) iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S8 but is made of titanium and ceramics. But if you want a carrier-locked variant, Sprint will be the way to go. He wanted to create a new kind of company using 21st century methods to build consumer products for the way people want to live in the 21st century.