Smartphone bloatware will now be user-removable in South Korea, starting in April

by: Andrew GrushJanuary 24, 2014

samsung galaxy note 3 lg g2 aa 8

You see it all the time, you buy a handset with anywhere from 8 to 64GB of storage only to find that a sizable chunk is already occupied. While some of this is unavoidable due to the space taken up by the OS and other necessary software, often times there is a fair amount of pre-installed software that really isn’t needed. This situation is especially true if you happen to have a carrier branded device.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to remove all the ‘junk’ if you didn’t want to use any of it? Although this is certainly possible with rooting and other methods, South Korea is looking to make an important change that will help smartphone users in the country put the bloatware problem to bed once and for all.

Starting in April, new industry guidelines will go into effect that will require most OEM/carrier apps to be user-removable without need for root or other tricks. The law won’t limit how much junk can be stuffed into a device, but at least it gives users an easy way to deal with the problem.

Here’s to hoping that other countries follow South Korea’s lead on this matter. Those in the United States would certainly love the idea of being able to rid themselves of all the garbage bundled by carriers like Verizon, and we’re sure the same goes for the rest of the globe.

  • MasterMuffin

    It won’t ever come to USA, the carriers won’t allow that

    • Groud Frank

      Money, money, money. Lobby, lobby, lobby.

    • Sam


    • Guest123

      yep! ATT threw a butt ton on my device. . . not to mention LG’s. All in all I have two, and sometimes three, apps for the same things, and they wonder why customers are confused??? Do I really need “browser” and “Chrome” reinstalled and non-removable?

      • Tuấn Ankh

        AT&T beats Samsung!
        In term of bloatwares…

      • Primalxconvoy

        In Japan, NTT Docomo have done exactly the same. They haven’t even released an update for the galaxy note 2 since it went on sale (but neither did Softbank for their devices).

  • systemupdate

    typo: 4th paragraph “South Korea’s led on this matter.”
    Shouldnt it be “Lead”?

    • MasterMuffin

      What if they have a huge led that everyone should follow? ;D

      • Jaime


    • simpleasker

      The amount of spelling mistakes these young authors (under 27) make are unbelievable. Heck even at cnn, a journalist, a young gun I presume, said, it is better to air on the side… Instead of err. Lol where are the editors.

      • systemupdate

        everyone loves copy/paste :)

      • Primalxconvoy

        The editors are only 29 themselves. Also, I suspect many write these articles on phones and tablets.

  • Andrew T Roach

    One area where Apple has a big edge.

    • Jayfeather787

      What? Since when could you uninstall system apps on IOS? You cannot, get your facts straight.

      • apianist16

        What he means is that there is no carrier bloat on the iPhone. He has a point.

        • Jayfeather787

          I guess so. But I want to be able to uninstall any app I want. Every time I install a ROM, I uninstall 20 system app (not safe), but I do, and at least I can.

        • Primalxconvoy

          Unless you believe that some or most of the stuff in ios is bloat and you want to replace it with third party apps.

    • MadCowOnAStick

      I hope you were being sarcastic.

  • Rajkumar

    give the south Koreans a medal

  • dandroid13

    I don’t get why people make this such a major issue…

    • Gator352

      Exactly. But they should be able to be uninstalled if I so wish.

    • Brian Shieh

      Well if you have a phone with 8gb storage, space matters a lot.

  • Jayfeather787

    Well, I’m moving to South Korea now.

    • MadCowOnAStick

      Watch out for North Koreans!

      • Jayfeather787

        Don’t worry. I got mentos and coke. I’ll be fine.

    • Primalxconvoy

      Unless you like silent cameras. You see, in Japan and Korea, due to the perception that a lot of certain types of males like talking secret pics of ladies, all phones MUST have loud shutter sounds to accompany all camera apps (only root will disable this or by using a low quality pic camera app that sidesteps the problem by taking snapshot/thumbnail pics).

      • Jayfeather787

        That sucks. But oh well, I guess I will stay where I currently am.

        • Guest

          All males in Japan, China, and SK are all automatically either pedophiles or rapists.

  • Tran Nguyen

    Bravo Samsung! All carriers should follow up.

  • Arturo Raygoza

    please less government interference, let the free market fix this problem like Google with the nexus 5