Android Central had reported yesterday that Sprint's HTC Evo 3D was getting a new firmware update that wiped Carrier IQ's software off the device, following up on a promise that the company had made in December to start disabling it across the lineup. Now, HTC's confirming that it's true:

HTC can confirm that we're working with Sprint to provide maintenance releases that will remove Carrier IQ and provide security enhancements and bug fixes beginning in January.

That's the message coming to us from an HTC spokesman today, and it corroborates a Geek.com report last month saying that Sprint had instructed its OEMs to prep such updates for their devices. It stands to reason that other phones in Sprint's arsenal will follow suit — we just don't know when. We also don't know what tool or array of tools Sprint (and other carriers winding down their involvement with Carrier IQ) will replace it with — there seems to now be little doubt that it's a legitimate app that provides carriers with critical feedback on network quality, and it's unlikely that the company's network engineers are going to want to lose access to that insight in the long term.