South Korea Rules Bloatware Must Be Deletable

South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning has ruled smartphone bloatware must be deletable.
Posted at 5:34 PM, Jan 25, 2014

​You know all those annoying apps that come pre-installed on your brand new phone?

They take up a bunch of storage and visual space on your phone. And they often leave you wondering why you can’t delete them even though you've never even used them once.

Well, South Korea says it's time for a change. According to a new report from ZDNet, Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future planning has ruled the so-called bloatware has to be deletable.

And with good reason. The report describes just how bloated bloatware can be. In fact, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 device comes with 80 pre-installed apps.

But not all of those 80 apps will be deletable. BGR reports the country will allow apps “related to Wi-Fi connectivity, near field communication (NFC), customer service center and app store.”

So if the app has nothing to do with the basic functionality of the device, then it must be deletable. And Engadget has the reason why.

"The ministry said preinstalled apps are an 'inconvenience' to users and cause 'unfair competition' between operators and carriers, so it asked them to offer detailed information to users on how much storage their preinstalled apps take up."

The ruling will affect Samsung, LG, Pantech, Google, and South Korea’s mobile carriers. The companies will have to make the change by April. So what about Apple?

The Next Web reports Apple does not allow pre-installed apps, other than its own, so the ruling isn't really aimed at the Cupertino company.

Now we’ve just got to get the US to follow South Korea in dealing with that pesky bloatware.