One bone of contention people have had when it comes to Android phones is bloatware – there’s just too many of those unwanted apps taking up space and resulting in discrepancies between a device’s advertised internal storage and the actual storage space available to users. There have been a few cases where individuals – often frivolously – have sued tech companies due to this discrepancy, but this may be the first major example of a consumer watchdog group filing a lawsuit against a leading phone maker. In fact, there are actually two involved here – Samsung and Oppo.
The legal actions were filed by the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission, who sued Samsung and Oppo in separate cases. Though the cases are distinct from each other, they remain very similar in the sense that the consumer protection group claims that the companies’ bloatware apps are extremely hard or even impossible to remove. The group also claims that the apps are usually very annoying, and that they eat up too much space on smartphones while slurping a large amount of data.
Samsung and Oppo weren’t picked randomly out of dozens of Android phone makers. According to the Shanghai Daily, the Consumer Rights Protection Commission had studied about 20 smartphones, and picked Samsung’s and Oppo’s devices as the two most blatant offenders. The commission had allegedly found 71 pre-installed apps on the Oppo X9007, and another 44 on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. However, some have pointed out that some of the apps involved may not really be unwanted forms of bloatware, and others may not technically be apps at all, rather serving as shortcuts.
Still, the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission does have a point when it makes its claims – smartphone makers should be more transparent when confirming the pre-installed apps on their devices, and should also let users know they can remove the apps.