A Chinese consumer watchdog has recently brought forth lawsuits against tech giants Samsung and local staple Oppo about their use of pre-installed applications on their mobile devices.
The Shanghai Consumer Council has reportedly received a lot of complaints regarding the pre-installed apps on the companies’ devices which are hard or impossible to uninstall. After catting out a study of over 20 smartphones, including models from the two companies, the SC concluded that the two have the most app-heavy devices on the market, and that this goes against the rights and interest of consumers.
More exactly, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Oppo Find 7a were the devices with the most preinstalled applications, hosting 44, respectively 71 apps each. Pre-installed apps are derogatively labeled as “bloatware” as they occupy storage, and consumers find that their devices have less usable storage than the marketed amount precisely due to this.
Some of the apps also passively use large amounts of data, and are hard if not actually impossible to remove if desired. However, the Shanghai Consumer Council has not made available any methodology on how it judged different features to be apps. It should also be known that, at least on Find 7A, user guides are displayed on screen, while mobile carriers also bring their own software into the fray in many cases.
Apparently, the lawsuit path was followed by the watchdog as the “latest attempt to preserve and act against anything that threatens consumer rights, seeing how other methods have failed.” This implies that the Shanghai Consumer Council has reached the companies regarding the problems, but did not have any success with the discussions.
„We hope it will force other companies in the sector to end the unreasonable, but common, practice of pre-installing apps without telling consumers. This is something that is very much necessary for the healthy development of the whole industry” said Tao Ailian, secretary-general of the SCC.
The two companies must respond to the litigation in the following 15 days, but to date Samsung has not received any formal complaint from the SCC, while Oppo has not commented on the situation. Oppo, despite not being one of the top smartphone brand, was in the market spotlight briefly in November last year when it claimed that its R5 model was the thinnest smartphone in the world.
Image Source: Gadget Collector