Android is the world’s most popular mobile operating system for several reasons. It’s open source, free for smartphone and tablet makers to use, it’s packed full of great features, and so on. But all that freedom comes at a cost for end users. For example, they have to wait months or even years for Android updates that include new features and crucial security fixes. Beyond that, unless they buy unlocked smartphone models directly from the vendor, they also have to deal with all kinds of bloatware that can often cause the user experience to suffer.
Speaking of bloatware, Verizon is one of the worst offenders and now it looks like the company wants to pack even more bloatware onto your next smartphone.
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According to a new report from AdvertisingAge, Verizon has been holding meetings with advertisers and big app developers about the possibility of shipping smartphones with their apps not just preinstalled on devices, but positioned on users’ home screens. The carrier reportedly began approaching companies late last year with the idea.
While there’s little question that the move would negatively impact subscribers, it’s also not a mystery why Verizon is eager to strike deals like this. According to the report, Verizon is seeking between $1 and $2 per device. That adds up to millions in revenue for the nation’s top wireless carrier. Meanwhile, the report notes that similar initiatives through Facebook or Google can cost upwards of $5 per impacted user.
Unlike most of Verizon’s own bloatware, the report notes that users would be able to uninstall any preloaded apps that become a part of this program. That doesn’t change the fact that a user’s first experience with his or her new smartphone might involve dealing with even more bloat, but it certainly could be worse.