Bloatware is a minor annoyance when purchasing a smartphone. The inclusion of bloat often leads consumers away from certain brands, models, and carriers. In South Korea, that’s changing. A new set of guidelines now allows for much of the bulky apps users deem unnecessary to be removed.

 According tot he Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, “the move aims to rectify an abnormal practice that causes inconvenience to smartphone users and causes unfair competition among industry players”. The guidelines will also serve to improve battery life and allow for local storage, according to the Ministry. Though it gives some allowances, it doesn’t mean all the bloatware can be removed.

The guidelines also stipulate that some bloatware, no matter how annoying, must stay. Anything relating to WiFi connectivity, NFC, Customer Service, and the associated App Store for the operating system is required to be kept on-board. Outside of those four tenets, it’s fair game for consumers.

With devices that have added bulk to the software, like we see with so many Samsung handsets, this could provide a welcome customization option for consumers. It could also prove to cause more problems that it solves, should apps that become wanted later on be discarded. This could also ask that OEMs make provisions to safeguard or educate consumers about their choices in customization, and lead to further confusion.