Vodafone has announced it has "listened to feedback" and will provide an Android 2.2 update for HTC Desire owners without additional applications.
The carrier had earlier rolled out a "performance" update to owners of Vodafone contracted HTC Desire smartphones but rather than being the keenly anticipated Android 2.2 "Froyo" update, the update installed several unremovable applications and marketing branding as part of the telcos "360" services.
The update enraged users who turned to the Vodafone forums in droves to complain about Vodafone’s tactics. At first Vodafone adopted a beligerant stand saying that software updates were the way the carrier optimised phone software. However as criticism mounted Vodafone announced a new policy of shipping a "HTC open market" version of Android 2.2 and providing the 360 applications seperately and optionally.
“For customers who have downloaded the recent 360 update for Android 2.1, we can confirm that the Android 2.2 update will remove the 360 applications and will leave the homepage and bookmarks on your current setting," a Vodafone spokesman wrote in the company’s forums.
"We plan to make the 360 apps available in a separate update for the HTC Desire at a later date, giving customers the choice to download it."
While it’s standard industry practice for mobile operators to brand phones including setting default bookmarks and installing standard applications, the practice had been thrust into the limelight by install the customisations via an update rather than as the phone shipped.