The deal Samsung reached with Verizon's digital unit Oath last month after agreeing to pre-install some of the company's mobile apps on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus is nothing but "bloatware," Recon Analytics founder and lead analyst Roger Entner wrote in a paper published today. The industry veteran described the partnership as an unimaginative way of pushing unimaginative apps to buyers of two popular Android flagships, having identified a couple of key trends that he believes are reflected by the development – the "fundamentally broken" nature of the Apple App Store and Google Play Store's app discovery mechanisms and massive budgeting imbalance issues permeating the mobile software development industry as a whole.
Having a marketing budget that significantly surpasses the actual resources spent on development leads to situations where companies have enough money to have their apps pre-loaded on smartphones but aren't actually pre-installing quality products, thus annoying users and "doubling down on a losing proposition," Mr. Entner wrote, concluding that contrary to the popular sentiment, "not all publicity is good" and having a pre-installed app ripped apart by gadget reviewers and consumers in a public manner is not something they should ever strive for or be content with. Ultimately, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, and Go90 don't provide any significant value to customers by being pre-installed on the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, the industry veteran concluded.
Mr. Entner says OEMs and carriers should look to innovate in order to better monetize their offerings, having pointed to lock screen ads, custom-made Android launchers, and promoted web content as solutions that could allow them to do so without annoying their customers, at least relative to what they're accomplishing by pre-installing apps. Native mobile ads are another possible avenue carriers and OEMs could explore moving forward but such solutions are still in their infancy and their effectiveness has yet to be accurately determined, according to the analyst. Ultimately, the only way to escape the "bloatware" label is to deliver mobile apps and other digital offerings that provide real value to consumers, which remains a difficult but not insurmountable task, Mr. Entner concluded.