India’s IT ministry is planning to lay down a new set of security-oriented rules for smartphone makers that will let users delete pre-installed apps.
What Happened? According to two Reuters sources, the new rules will also likely mandate screening of major operating system updates before they are rolled out to users.
Per the new report, once these new rules are laid, launch timelines for smartphone launches will likely get extended. The move will also likely result in losses for phone makers as most brands see pre-installed app deals as a revenue source.
“Pre-installed apps can be a weak security point and we want to ensure no foreign nations, including China, are exploiting it. It’s a matter of national security,” said an unnamed government official while speaking to Reuters.
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Currently, most smartphones in India come with pre-installed apps that cannot be deleted. Some notable examples of such apps include Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi’s app store GetApps, Samsung’s payment app Samsung Pay mini and iPhone maker Apple’s browser Safari.
Under the new rules, smartphone makers will be required to provide an uninstall option. New models, meanwhile will be checked for compliance by a lab authorised by the Bureau of Indian Standards — the country’s standards body.
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