Verizon subsidiary Oath entered a deal with Samsung to preinstall bloatware on Galaxy S9 devices purchased from the carrier, a move that is currently facing intense criticism.
Installing bloatware on electronic devices is generally considered a bad idea, mostly due to how much customers hate the preinstalled apps. It is unlikely, however, that Verizon and Samsung will back out of their agreement.
Verizon To Install Oath Bloatware In Samsung Galaxy S9
According to Oath CEO Tim Armstrong, the deal with Samsung looks to get its content and the advertisements of its partner on mobile devices. Viewers are starting to watch more TV shows on their smartphones instead of on satellite or cable television.
As part of the deal, advertisers will be able to place native ads in the Oath apps and the Samsung Galaxy app. Native ads are advertisements that naturally mix in with the regular content of the apps. Oath has also confirmed that it is now the premier content partner for Samsung's Bixby Home in the United States.
Oath was formed last year when Verizon purchased Yahoo and merged it with AOL. The acquisitions have made partnerships between the brands inevitable, and it seems that Verizon is now starting to further define itself as a media conglomerate.
Why Is Bloatware A Bad Idea?
In actuality, preinstalling bloatware on smartphones does not violate any rules. There are no net neutrality problems, nor are there any antitrust issues. However, bloatware is generally frowned upon among consumers, especially those that are impossible to delete from devices.
Serving advertisements on mobile devices to subsidize their cost is one thing, but forcing ads on smartphones that customers are already paying hundreds of dollars for is a different, more polarizing issue. In addition, Samsung itself is already known for preinstalling a large number of bloatware apps on its devices, which makes the partnership with Verizon and Oath even worse.
Verizon and Samsung will stand to earn revenue from the agreement, but Verizon might want to think about how customers perceive its brand. The merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, which is finally pushing through, will create a company that will better challenge AT&T and Verizon. The top 2 carriers will need to be very careful with their moves, or they might lose customers to the new T-Mobile.