Incoming bloatware for the Samsung Galaxy Tab? Already?
The Samsung Galaxy Tab started off as a promising rival to the iPad, and indeed it could still carve a very modest notch in the blossoming tablet PC market - especially since Apple have confirmed they won't be launching a 7" tablet.
But then the pricing was announced - a rather hefty £529.99 without contract - and the wind was taken out of Samsung's sales. There's also the fact that Google had suggested manufacturers stay away from the current Android operating systems, which are intended for mobile handsets rather than tablets.
Now there's another worrying development - bloatware. From December, the Galaxy Tab will be pre-loaded with a VisitBritain tourism app, a travel guide to the British Isles featuring images, video and GPS-linked data for visitors to the 2012 Olympic Games. Samsung, which is one of the sponsors of London 2012, expects that The Best of Britain app will be pre-loaded onto 25 million devices.
The worry is that this opens the door wide open for Samsung to continue monetising the devices of customers for future commercial deals; after paying £500 for a Galaxy Tab, Samsung will still pre-load third party apps onto it where they see fit. You'd hope customers will be able to delete the apps without any issues - Vodafone customers aren't so lucky when it comes to bloatware - but this is more about Samsung perceiving their customer's hardware as an asset they can still sell on to their advertisers.
For many, apps are badges worn by the consumer, showing off their interests or loyalty to a brand. There's no doubt Apple could bundle apps for global companies into their OS updates, but they'd never dream of it. Regardless of the cause, pre-loading third party apps is bloatware - will this be the start of Samsung selling off the real estate of their customer's devices?