• From news to education to utilities to social networking--some of the apps used by a Canadian teacher in Calgary.

From news to education to utilities to social networking--some of the apps used by a Canadian teacher in Calgary. (Photo : http://cstaab.com)

Enough is enough.

Mounting complaints from smartphone buyers regarding numerous apps that can’t be uninstalled prompted the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission to conduct test on 20 smartphones.

The commission has been receiving the same kind of complaints from smartphone users: they can’t remove many apps they either find useless for them or they are not interested with. The number of complaints just keeps on escalating.

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During the said test by the commission, it learned that Oppo Find 7a X9007 has 71 pre-installed apps and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9008S has 44.

Upon purchase, the package where these gadgets are placed does not contain information enumerating what apps were pre-installed and details about them, nor does it come with instructions on how to uninstall them. Such case basically violates the consumers’ right to know.

In the end, the commission filed a separate lawsuit against Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Co. Ltd. and Tianjin Samsung Telecommunications Technology Co. Ltd.

The law renders these two companies 15 days to respond to the complaint. As for the furious smartphone users, particularly those who bought the said Oppo and Samsung models, they may have weeks or months to get a solution to their dilemma.

Smartphone companies earn from pre-installed apps. Perhaps this piece of information would in some way provide a hint on why they don’t inform buyers what pre-installed apps a particular model has and, more curiously, why they don’t include instructions in the packaging or publish on their website how to uninstall unwanted apps.

Some pre-installed apps can’t be uninstalled but can be disabled; however, disabled apps still take up storage space. That explains why many smartphone users want to completely remove certain apps either to free up storage space or to install those apps they find useful or more relevant to them.

After all, it’s their phone, right? Many might be wondering why smartphone companies control their freedom to use something they rightfully own since they already paid for it.

Should smartphone companies be lawfully mandated by the government to inform consumers regarding all pre-installed apps every time they promote their gadgets and at the same time provide step-by-step instructions on how to uninstall them?

In case the mandate gets approved, should it only be fair that non-complying smartphone companies be slapped with a fine?