No more bloatware? Indian Government Set to Mandate Smartphone Makers to Allow Removal of Pre-Installed Apps

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  • Indian government plans to carry crackdown on Chinese OEMs.
  • Pre-installed apps could also be eliminated from devices.


The Indian government is reportedly planning to tighten regulations around pre-installed apps and mobile operating systems from smartphone manufacturers in the country. This move is expected to have a significant impact on major players in the market such as Vivo, Realme, and Xiaomi, who currently earn a considerable portion of their revenues from pre-installed app partnerships.

According to a report by Reuters, the Indian IT Ministry is in the process of drafting an order that will require smartphone makers to allow users to remove pre-installed apps from their devices. Additionally, the government is also expected to introduce measures for screening mobile software before devices are brought to market.

The decision to impose stricter regulations comes amid concerns around data abuse and spying allegations involving smartphones and other mobile devices. The government’s focus on border countries like China, which has a substantial share in the Indian mobile market, is said to be a response to these concerns.

The introduction of these regulations could delay smartphone launches and force OEMs to comply with stricter compliance measures. While the move is expected to be a jolt to smartphone manufacturers, it is seen as a matter of national security by the government. The new regulations will ensure that pre-installed apps do not pose a security risk, especially in the wake of allegations of foreign nations exploiting weak security points in smartphones.

Effect on Chinese OEMs

Major smartphone manufacturers currently offer devices that come with pre-installed apps that cannot be uninstalled by the user. For instance, Apple’s Safari browser, Samsung’s Samsung Pay Mini, and Xiaomi’s GetApps app store are a few examples of pre-installed apps that come with smartphones. However, the Indian government is planning to implement new policies that would allow smartphone owners to remove these pre-installed apps from their devices.

This decision is part of the Indian government’s larger efforts to tackle the issue of pre-installed apps. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently fined Google Rs 1,337 crore for pre-installing Google Search, Chrome, YouTube, and other apps on Android devices. By enabling smartphone owners to delete pre-installed apps, the Indian government hopes to ensure the protection of user privacy and prevent any potential data misuse.

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