One of the things that users hate most about new smartphones is getting all of these bloatware or pre-installed apps from the OEM or carrier that are practically useless for some. Well, if these reports are true, then you may have to deal with a new kind of pre-installed annoyance: Brandware. Verizon has reportedly been offering to install brands’ apps on their subscribers home screen, but for a price of course. It may be good news for the brands, but bad news for the new subscribers.

The rumors come from agency executives who have been privy to the offers made to their clients. The deal is that their brand’s app or apps will be pre-installed on any of the new devices that will be activated through the carrier. This will cost the client anywhere from $1-$2 for each device that will have the “brand ware”. Carriers have to look at other sources of revenue, particularly now that calls and texts are mostly free, and given the proliferation of apps that offer both. Verizon claims to activate 10 million new phones for every quarter, so this may mean a lot both for the apps and the brand’s pockets as well.

This is of course both advantageous and disadvantageous for the brand involved. If all that they’re looking for is the number of downloads, then by all means, this is a good way of ensuring you have at least 10 million every quarter. However, there is no guarantee that the customer will keep the app or even open it for that matter. And yet, the brand will still be charged for it of course. It also cannot offer you any sense of targeting, so the apps will just go to anyone who has activated a Verizon smartphone.

On the side of the user, of course this means bad news, (except if you actually needed one of the brand apps that have been pre-installed on your device). Verizon and other carriers and OEMs have already been targeted by user complaints on bloatware, and having more brandware on your device may be a deterrent for some users to actually buy a smartphone from your carrier.

VIA: Ad Age