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South Korea Says Goodbye to Smartphone Bloatware

The days when carriers or smartphone manufacturers can just jam in a couple of bloatware in a device may soon be over. This after the South Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning ruled that starting this coming April, wireless carriers and device makers must allow consumers to easily delete the pre-installed applications on their mobile devices to increase storage space.


Right now these types of apps which are often referred to as bloatware are not really vital in the operation of the phone. It’s not easy to just uninstall them since they reside in the system partition and can only be taken out if the device has been rooted. The problem with rooting a device is that most of the time it breaks the warranty.

When updates to the pre-installed app becomes available they are downloaded and stored separately from the original app. This causes a lot of storage space to be used up if there are a lot of bloatware getting updates.

Take for instance the Samsung Galaxy S4 released by SK Telecoms. This particular model has 80 pre-installed apps which are really not vital. SK Telecoms loaded 25 of its apps on the device , Samsung contributed another 39 apps, and Google added 16 more. When the new ruling becomes effective at least half of these apps can be deleted easily.

The government agency said that “The move aims to rectify an abnormal practice that causes inconvenience to smartphone users and causes unfair competition among industry players.”

This means that this coming April in South Korea any application found in a new smartphone that isn’t vital to its operation and performance can easily be deleted. This includes carrier specific apps, Google apps, and game demos just to name a few.

This new ruling only applies to South Korea however we are hoping that other countries will follow suit. If not then there’s always the option of copying the bloatware free system images found in South Korean devices and flashing them in the respective phone models.

via cnet

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