India wants smartphone makers to allow removal of pre-installed apps

brambedkar59

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India plans to force smartphone makers to allow removal of pre-installed apps and mandate screening of major operating system updates under proposed new security rules, according to two people and a government document seen by Reuters. The new rules, details of which have not been previously reported, could extend launch timelines in the world's No.2 smartphone market and lead to losses in business from pre-installed apps for players including Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo, and Apple.

India's IT ministry is considering these new rules amid concerns about spying and abuse of user data, said a senior government official, one of the two people, declining to be named as the information is not yet public. "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," the official added.

India has ramped up scrutiny of Chinese businesses since a 2020 border clash between the neighbours, banning more than 300 Chinese apps, including TikTok. It has also intensified scrutiny of investments by Chinese firms.Globally too, many nations have imposed restrictions on the use of technology from Chinese firms like Huawei and Hikvision on fears Beijing could use them to spy on foreign citizens. China denies these allegations. Currently, most smartphones come with pre-installed apps that cannot be deleted, such as 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 have to provide an uninstall option and new models will be checked for compliance by a lab authorized by the Bureau of Indian Standards agency, two people with knowledge of the plan said. The government is also considering mandating screening of every major operating system update before it is rolled out to consumers, one of the people said.
 

MuzzMelbourne

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'National Security' sounds like a valid reason for Government oversight of these types of issues.

Unfortunately, politicians and their appointed minions usually decide what is in the National interest.

I'm sure Chinese, North Korean, Iranian, Russian, heck, even Australian, citizen's have restricted access to stuff/things/apps(think VPN's) based on reasons of 'National Security'.

Sounds great when you are talking about Apple Safari, but a slippery slope for mine...
 

brambedkar59

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Sounds great when you are talking about Apple Safari, but a slippery slope for mine...
Slippery slope indeed. At least the first part of it (ability to uninstall preinstalled apps) is good and can't be twisted by govt. But the second part (mandate screening of major operating system updates) is what concerns me.
 

brambedkar59

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How popular are iPhones in India?
Not that popular. OnePlus/Samsung/Pixel are more common in high end range. Xiaomi/Realme dominate in budget section.

Nokia is running stock Android as well. That's the irony!
They have ruined the brand Nokia. Younger ones won't know that it used to mean quality in older days.
 
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