Samsung, Oppo face lawsuits in China over memory-clogging apps as grievances pile up

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 July, 2015, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Friday, 03 July, 2015, 5:58pm

A growing number of consumer complaints against Samsung and other smartphone makers has pushed Shanghai’s Consumer Council to take action against companies whose pre-installed apps gobble up memory on their handsets.

The council filed public interest lawsuits against Samsung and Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo after it discovered as many as 71 such apps on their handsets, some of which were difficult to remove.

An investigation earlier this year found that it was impossible to uninstall 47 of the 71 apps running on Oppo’s X9007, while a version of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 had 44 pre-installed apps firmly lodged in place.

The software was found to both eat up a phone’s storage capacity and also download information without the user’s knowledge.

The council said consumers should be given details on any pre-installed apps, informed of how much memory they consume, and be clearly told how to remove the software.

The council requested that Shanghai First Intermediate People's Court order both companies to comply with its mandate by adding related details to either the product packaging or instructions. It also pushed to have them ensure all such apps can be uninstalled in a simple manner.

The council said it has received more complaints about smartphones than any other product over the last three years.

In 2014, it received 7,066 grievances in this area, up a quarter from 2013, when the figure stood at 5,680.

Samsung and Oppo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.