South Korea’s smartphone users will be allowed to prune unwanted preinstalled mobile applications, a measure that will give them more data storage, the country’s communications ministry said Thursday.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said it will apply new guidelines on preinstalled apps to local industry players starting in April.
“The move aims to normalize an abnormal practice that causes inconvenience to smartphone users and causes unfair competition among industry players,” the ministry said in the release.
Under the new guidelines, mobile carriers must make most of their preinstalled apps deletable except for four necessary items related to Wi-Fi connection, near-field communication (NFC), the client center and the app store.
Currently, SK Telecom Co., the No. 1 mobile carrier, installs 25 default apps on Samsung’s Galaxy S4, followed by LG Uplus Corp.’s 18 and KT Corp. with 16, the ministry’s data showed.
Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. will also be forced to reduce more than half of their nearly 40 preinstalled apps. The ministry said it was in talks with Google Inc. to apply the guidelines to its apps as well. (Yonhap News)