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Sprint to offer app packs on Android phones

Sprint Nextel is planning a service to make it easier for consumers to get what they want from the thousands of applications available for phones based on Google's Android.
/ Source: Reuters

Sprint Nextel is planning a service to make it easier for consumers to get what they want from the thousands of applications available for phones based on Google's Android.

Sprint said Wednesday that starting next week it would offer its customers packs, or collections of related applications, so they do not have to search through the Android App Market to find each one separately.

For example, fans of Disney character Hannah Montana could download a pack with one app that has a news feed, another with a merchandise store and another with information about musicians with a similar style to Montana,

Yahoo! will offer packs including e-mail, search, news, sports and finance-related information.

Sprint director of product management Kevin McGinnis said the company had developed the Sprint ID service to help customers who were having trouble finding what they want on the Android application store, which offers many thousands of apps.

"Users are extremely frustrated with the market place because they still have to go find stuff that is relevant and useful," McGinnis said in a telephone interview before Sprint unveiled the service at the CTIA wireless trade show in San Francisco.

Sprint said its initial partners for the service include Amazon, Comcast, Electronic Arts, eBay and RadioShack as well as Yahoo and Disney. It will open the service to all application developers in the coming weeks.

Some apps will have premium, or for-pay, content, as determined by partners, said Len Barlik, Sprint vice president of wireless and wireline development.

He said there will be 13 Sprint ID packs available initially. They will work with new phones annnounced Wednesday by Sprint: the Samsung Transform, Sanyo Zio (both available Oct. 10) and LG Optimus S (out at the end of October).

Msnbc.com contributed to this report.