South Korea Is on to Something, Rules Pre-Installed Smartphone Bloatware Must Be Removable

Smartphone makers have taken a page from bulk OEMs in the PC industry by pre-loading their handsets with tons of software. The difference is you can spend a few minutes (or more) uninstalling bloatware on your computer, whereas it's not uncommon for apps to be permanently implanted on a smartphone, leaving you with the decision to deal with it or root your handset and go with a third-party ROM. Where's the option to just delete the unwanted application?

That option may be coming soon to a smartphone near you. South Korea has drawn up new rules forcing device makers and wireless carriers to give smartphone owners the option of deleting pre-installed software.

"The move aims to rectify an abnormal practice that causes inconvenience to smartphone users and causes unfair competition among industry players," South Korean officials stated in a press release.


With the new rules in place, wireless carriers are only allowed to permanently install four necessary apps pertaining Wi-Fi connectivity, near field communication, customer service, and the app store. All other software must come with the option of being deleted, if the user chooses.

While these rules only apply to South Korea, it might only be a matter of time before wireless carriers pitch the ability to delete pre-installed apps as a "feature" in what's become a highly competitive market. Otherwise, there could be a max exodus to CyanogenMod among the mainstream.