updated 07:08 pm EST, Fri January 24, 2014
Users must be allowed to delete unwanted apps already installed on devices
Owners of smartphones in South Korea will be able to delete pre-installed apps from their devices in the future, the country's government has ruled. From April, carriers will be required to allow users to uninstall software placed onto the device before purchase, in an effort to let device owners make better use of a device's storage, as well as to improve its battery life.
The Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning claims the rule changes aim "to rectify an abnormal practice that causes inconvenience to smartphone users and causes unfair competition among industry players," reports ZDNet. Though the plan will allow consumers to make their devices closer to what the manufacturer initially created by deleting apps, there will be some exceptions. Essential apps for Wi-Fi connectivity, NFC, an app store, and customer service functions will not be deletable under the rules.
Even so, users stand to gain a considerable amount of storage from the changes. Yonhap News claims that the Samsung Galaxy S4 sold on SK Telecom had 80 apps pre-installed, with 25 installed by the carrier, though 55 were provided by Samsung and Google. It is believed that at least half of these pre-installed apps will be deletable under the rules.