South Korea outlaws permanent bloatware, world to follow?


HTC One bloatware ATT

The people’s of at least one country will soon be free of the tyranny of bloatware. In South Korea, a new set of guidelines governing the mobile industry will require manufacturers and service providers to allow users to delete most of the pre-installed software that ships with a device.

Dubbed bloatware because the software takes up valuable storage space, the guidelines were created with the goal of giving users more accessible memory on their smartphones. More importantly the rules aim to cut back on “an abnormal practice that causes inconvenience to smartphone users and causes unfair competition among industry players,” according to Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning. Required will be the ability to delete all pre-installed apps (except for a few deemed necessary).

Could the rest of the world join South Korea in the war against bloatware? User annoyance with not being able to uninstall apps that are never used is hardly a regional issue. It’s a chief reason many choose to root and modify the software that ships with any new Android. We definitely would not mind if wider regulations were in place to limit the amount of software permanently installed on mobile devices.

We will find out how Korea fares when the guidelines become official in April.

[Press release via ZDNet]

Kevin Krause
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  1. It won’t happen in the US with our crap legal system… Someone will probably be paid to keep this from spreading in the US.

    1. Its called Lobbying good sir. Its legal briber…I mean its part of our wonderful Free and Open Market!

      1. You’re goddamn right.

    2. It happens all the time. Good old control the masses politics.

      1. “Good old control the masses politics”. Maybe you should run for office and introduce a better system?

        1. I surely will, as soon as an agency outlawing trolls is in place. You would be the first individual I would like to interrogate.

      2. I don’t think this is “control the masses politics”. It’s “the carriers have deep pockets and can spend millions lobbying for whatever they want and against what consumers want politics”.

        1. It amounts to the same ending. Masses controlled; bloatware stays.

  2. Why are we not funding this

    1. Stem cells from Family Guy. Hahaha.

  3. What would the PC makers do if they can’t load your machine up with crap that makes it perform like a machine three years older?

    1. Most of the PC bloatware you can remove there isn’t any real way the oems can add it that can not be romoved considering the way windows works.

      Unlike Android where you need root to remove the bloatware.

    2. 2014…

      Not building your own PC


  4. freaken Koreans get all the good sh!t….

  5. Hell, I would think that a PC or tablet maker would sell many more devices by allowing the option to delete “bloatware”. Why should it take a government act to make this happen?

  6. And your point is ….. what?

  7. ɴօ աαʏ…

  8. I’m a Korean American and I am very proud on this. America should follow this right away.

    1. So wait do you hold dual citizenship, or are you an American?

      Either way I agree, this should be implemented as I find it quite foolish that companies are allowed to install software on someone’s personal phone that that cannot then dispose of at their leisure…

      But then again I chuckle sometimes when I see articles like this (pertaining to bloatware) as I sometimes forget that there are some users out there that end up being stuck with such things due to brand/lack of root. (Be it for the fact they lack tech knowledge or it is company phone, etc) Personally I have rooted every android device (even work ones) that I have used over the years so it can sometimes be easy to forget.

      1. “So wait do you hold dual citizenship”

        Don’t be ignorant.

  9. Get a life…

    1. He totally needs to get a life. His buddy’s mother on the other hand…

  10. One minute government intervention is the greatest thing since sliced bread the next minute it’s TYRANNICAL!

    1. Don’t be such a dramatist, dude. They’re talking about government intervention to facilitate the enhancement of mobile device usage, not to build a nuclear power plant next to your house.

      1. Not being dramatic at all. Why should the government intervene in, “intervention to facilitate the enhancement of mobile device usage” what a waste of time and resources.

        1. We’re speculating about the U.S. government’s possible action in regards to something similiar to what the Korean government is proposing here. Most of what the U.S. government does these days is a waste of time and resources and/or downright terrifying.

          1. “Most of what the U.S. government does these days is a waste of time and resources and/or downright terrifying.” This is simply laughable and devoid of any intelligent thought. Are you going to quote Benjamin Franklin next?

          2. Most of what certain parts of the U.S. government does these days is a waste of time and/or terrifying. See also:

            NSA surveillance programs
            Unnecessary nvolvement in many conflicts at least once a decade for the past 30 years
            Those who have blind faith in the U.S. government and God

            Have fun reading up on those topics. Good day.

          3. And the report was JUST RELEASED citing NO MAJOR ISSUES! Oooooh but I will await your response as to how can we believe these reports. You are soooo cool with your, “Have fun reading up on those topics. Good day.” That was sooo cool Kenny! You really showed me!

          4. With your day to day living you BENEFIT GREATLY from the THOUSANDS OF MEN AND WOMAN who work for our government. If you TRULY believe our government is, “terrifying” maybe you should move? Seriously I wouldn’t stay under a, “terrifying” government.

          5. One of the things that is the building block of our current system of government is to be vigilant and question our leaders. That is what sets us apart from many governments that are a dictatorship. If we fail to do so and blindly follow their leadership, we might as well be in a dictatorship. Being patriotic is fine, but you can be patriotic without being blindly loyal. Our government is made up of people, people who can be anywhere from altruistic to downright crooked. It is our job as citizens of this country to know the difference, and elect those who are the former, and remove those who are the latter. Just telling everyone who don’t like it to move will not solve the problems we have. Only by identifying those problems and fixing them can the situation be resolved. If you want to believe that the government is perfect and does nothing wrong, that’s your right, but it’s also my right to question the government. It was set that way by our founding fathers because they knew that people weren’t perfect, and that failure to oversee those people by it’s citizens will result in people serving the government, not the government serving the people. They are elected into government to serve us, not the other way around.

        2. I AM SORRY BUT I JUST FELL OUT OF MY CHAIR LAUGHING!! “the enhancement of mobile device usage”! “Dear congressman,

          I realize that you have a lot going on but SERIOUSLY i need my mobile device enhanced STAT!!!”


      2. Maybe the government can intervene to enhance my television viewing experience and give me a nice massage!

    2. How can that be? you mean a tool can be used for good or bad? No thats just crazy talk. Like if you go buy a hammer, they always ask you do you want a hammer for nails or for heads? I mean one single hammer could not do both. I have two cars, one can drive me to work, and one that can drive me to do fun stuff. I wish they could combine things like you are saying. That would be so futuristic… Like star trek… or was that star wars??

  11. I rooted my phone specifically so I could freeze all the junk bloatware, would love to be able to get rid of it without having to root and all that.

    1. Preaching to the choir, man! All hail mighty Talos!

  12. or you could just buying samsung phones.. funny how samsung is big in south korea

  13. Oh man the death of BLOATWARE, thought I would never see the day your cellphone will be yours, not the Cell Companies.

    “Give me legit apps or give me a way to delete.”

  14. I dispose bloatware as much as the next guy, BUT I despise government micromanaging private companies even more. No one is forced to buy anything, let the market guide what companies produce. People vote everyday with their dollars. Companies change their attitudes real fast when they don’t satisfy the consumer.

    1. So you’re saying you’re an iPhone user? Because the iPhone doesn’t have any bloatware and they’re not selling as well as the bloatware-loaded Samsung phones from carriers. So apparently people are not voting with their dollars because they’ve just come to accept it or don’t know better. Just saying.

    2. This has nothing to do with micromanagement of companies and everything to do with allowing the end users the freedom to use their device as they see fit.

      Why is it that a company should be allowed to install some crapware on a device that I have purchased and now own, and I cannot do anything about it?

      As I’ve said elsewhere in this article, I root every device I have so this law (or a similar US one) would have no effect upon me. That said, if you own a device you should have the freedom to control what content is upon it and not be forced by some large corporation to use apps that take up space, hog resources, and are generally not as good at doing what its supposed to do as some streamlined 3rd party apps can often do. (Not to mention the fact that some of the bloatware can often be used to monitor what you do on YOUR device)

      Again, I applaud S. Korea for this huge step in caring for the freedom of its people, and can only hope that the US will someday follow. Though it seems more and more everyday that the land of the free has become the land of the oppressed when it comes to dealing with big government and big corporations.

  15. Blackphone!!!

    1. Nexus

  16. @Lolwut: some people may have come to accept the fact that phones have bloatware. Obvious it’s still worth it to them so they buy the product regardless, so they DO vote with their dollars. You act as though your being forced to buy their product. You and only you decide when to reach into your wallet. People like you are the problem. You don’t get what you want, so you give government the power to dictate and control.

  17. I’m just seeing a US government mandated program that will be required to be installed on all cellphones to monitor bloatware installed on all cellphones… Now, we’ve added one more bloatware program and the government will come up with a new cellphone tax to pay for the development of this program and to fund the new cabinet-level position for Bloatware Czar. Then, ultimately, it will be discovered that the program is used by the IRS and NSA to track movement of Tea Party members by providing a backdoor into AT&T Maps app. Thank you, Obamaware.

  18. You said it yourself, you root every device, as I do. I’m just not for giving gov’t more control and power for something that can be handled on your own, aka rooting and roming. Plus we now have Google edition phones popping up with no bloatware.

  19. Wow, the government actually getting in the way of corporate tyranny. Who’da thunk?

  20. Begging the government to “outlaw” something that does not violate the constitution is sick. While I hate Bloat as much as anyone, the persistence of bloatware needs to be taken directly to the companies, not to the Government.

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