Android mastermind Andy Rubin unveiled his first major post-Google project – the Essential phone – last month. But while the device was the subject of much chatter in the tech world, it was unclear just where customers would be able to get their hands on it.
Just after the release, T-Mobile reportedly welcomed the device as a BYOD carry-in, while Verizon hedged with a statement that it should work on the network but it couldn’t guarantee quality of service for an untested device. Sprint was similarly cryptic, noting the phone would work on its network but keeping mum about who would sell it. But we now have an answer to that question: Sprint will be the exclusive U.S. carrier partner for the Essential phone.
The carrier said Monday the phone is expected to launch later this summer and will be available through Sprint retail stores, telesales, and the carrier’s website, as well as in Best Buy’s stores and online shop.
Sprint said pricing details are yet to come, but customers can preregister for news on the device on the carrier’s website.
The carrier used the announcement as an opportunity to tout its unlimited data plan and network improvements. The agreement also comes as Sprint shifts its distribution push into high gear.
Sprint last week announced plans to add 60 new stores and more than 450 new jobs in New England over the next year and a half. The carrier in April previously announced plans to open 79 new retail locations and add more than 550 jobs throughout Texas, and followed up with plans to open 15 new stores in Miami and South Florida by the end of 2018.