One of the biggest downsides of buying a carrier branded Android smartphone is bloatware. Regardless of the carrier, you’re going to find at least a handful of added applications on your device which, in most cases, you can’t delete. Verizon isn’t always the worst in this area, but things could have been much worse if an idea from the company had come to fruition.
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According to Ad Age, Verizon was working with developers late last year to install more apps on Android phones, mainly from the retail or finance categories. In exchange for pre-loading these apps on Verizon-branded devices, Verizon would have received between $1-$2 for each device sold. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like anyone took Verizon up on that offer, which was a good move. The report further says that Verizon would have charged companies the same price even if users instantly disabled those apps, or if they never used them.
It’s possible that Verizon was planning to do this with DT-Ignite, a service the carrier previously revealed it had used to install bloatware on devices. It’s likely the Verizon is still doing this, but this report finally puts a price along with those pre-loaded apps.
Let’s assume Verizon charges $1 for each pre-installed app on a device that it sells. Picking up a Verizon-branded Moto Z DROID Edition, I count 8 pre-installed, non-Verizon/Moto apps just with a quick glance. That’s $8 of nearly pure profit that Verizon made on this device. Multiply that be a couple hundred thousand phones (at least), and Verizon just made thousands of dollars.
So yes, Verizon has been doing bloatware for a while, and yes, it wanted to do more, but it probably didn’t go through and at least now we know what Verizon is actually getting from all those annoying apps on your device.