South Korea Has Outlawed Bloatware On Smartphones

While Apple has long prevented wireless companies from force-placing cruddy, memory- and battery-sucking apps on its iPhones, most Android users have phones loaded with apps from their wireless providers and phone manufacturers that will probably never be used but which can’t be removed. Realizing that this is a mammoth annoyance to consumers, regulators in South Korea have banned the practice.

Ars Technica reports that phones in South Korea can still come with all this nonsense pre-loaded, but consumers must have ability to delete most of it.

Only certain apps that are deemed necessary — things that enable WiFi service or near-field communication for the device; the app store; apps for customer service — are exempt from this requirement.

“The move aims to rectify an abnormal practice that causes inconvenience to smartphone users and causes unfair competition among industry players,” explained the South Korean Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning.

Sadly, with the amount of money that wireless providers pump into Capitol Hill, it’s doubtful that U.S. lawmakers or regulators would ever enact such a rule. Thus, Android users will need to keep rooting their devices if they want to remove all the useless apps that occupy real estate on their phones.