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Facebook being pre-installed on Galaxy phones is neither new nor a major problem

Every now and then, you come across news reports on the internet that makes you wonder: How is this even news? Or why is this being highlighted now? The Bloomberg report and the related articles in other publications about many Galaxy users not being allowed to completely remove the Facebook app from their smartphones falls in that category.

Not being allowed to uninstall the Facebook app is neither new nor surprising as the app comes/came pre-installed on many Galaxy smartphones in one form or the other. Pre-installed apps cannot be removed entirely but can be disabled, which is more or less similar to uninstallation except that the disabled app continues to take up some on the device. This is not unique to the Facebook app, or even Samsung devices for that matter, but applies to almost all pre-installed apps on many smartphones, including Galaxy devices. Only a few, if at all, of the pre-installed apps can be removed completely from the device.

The data leaks and the controversies surrounding Facebook has resulted in increased scrutiny on the service. Probably, this is what is prompting many users to question why can’t they delete the app completely from the device even though that has been the case for many years now. While the increased scrutiny over the presence of preinstalled apps that pose privacy risks and the lack of an option to remove them is welcome, the problem is not new, and any such indication in reporting is misleading.

Also, as pointed out by some users and reported by other publications, Samsung doesn’t even install the actual Facebook app on many of its smartphones. It merely places an installer shortcut which, when launched, downloads the actual app to the device. This makes the concerns about the preinstalled Facebook “app” on Galaxy devices even more exaggerated.

Samsung allows users in China to remove preinstalled apps

The absence of an option to remove the Facebook app from Galaxy smartphones is not due to technical limitations, but because of financial considerations involved in the deals made by Samsung with other companies to preinstall their apps.

In China, Samsung was sued a few years ago for the bloatware they installed on their earlier flagships. The company was eventually forced to offer users the option to remove these apps. As a result of the lawsuit, Samsung is compelled to mention the list of all pre-installed apps and which of them can be removed on its Chinese website under a separate section for each device listing. So, the lack of an option to uninstall the Facebook app completely can be resolved in other markets if Samsung wants to.

Hopefully, the increased concerns over privacy will eventually force all companies, including Samsung, to give more control to the users on handling their devices. While that sounds like a great outcome, do remember that any such move will inevitably lead to an increase in smartphone prices as companies often compensate low prices with advertising deals like pre-installing apps.

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o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

This is not a big deal!! do people not know what disabling an app means?! it means its not active. it is not being using, it is not being “powered”. such scaremongering and paranoia about data collecting!
Check your CPU and RAM – is Facebook services ‘on’ anywhere when you disable it. I disabled Skype every time i get a new (Samsung) phone and never had an issue with it. Never had suspicious emails about my Skype account. Stop making this molehill into a mountain. its not that deep.

siaho
siaho

What low prices to compensate for? The 1000-1500 euro phones? 😀
One can argue that the price is because of tech advancements, but do you think the tech and R&D of the first iphone is cheap for it’s time? Nope, the profit is what goes up mostly. 😉

Sam Dough
Sam Dough

This is why people don’t buy Samsung. Their UI are filled with tons of junk bloatwares people don’t want. Those junks can’t even be unistalled leaving the phone filled with unwanted junks that lags the phone and make thw storage full. That is why people go for Apple, Huawei, Oppo, Google, Xiaomi, Vivo, Asus, Lenovo, etc as their phone are not filled with bloatware junks.

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

Apple Maps, Safari, Stocks – all Apple bloat! iPhone users just don’t realise lol

AlienGuy
AlienGuy

Pre-installed crap is biggest turnoff as for as my experience with Samsung is concerned. The crap slows down the phone considerably, eating on precious resources and draining the battery considerably. At least they should make them uninstallable. The only reason to root the phone for me is to remove Pre-instead crap: The list of crap Pre installed by Samsung on my S9 Plus is as under : 1. Flipboard 2. CNN for edge panel 3. Microsoft Excel 4. Microsoft Word 5. Microsoft PowerPoint 6. Microsoft One drive 7. Facebook 8. Facebook App Installer 9. Facebook App Manager 10. Facebook Services… Read more »

PJaya
PJaya

My phone did not have facebook preinstalled when i newly get it, samsung added it after software update,
Luckly just kew KB of shorrcut, can disabled it. Oh and more 2 fb apps, Facebook App Installer, Facebook App Manager, it auto update itself, and can be disable.

Jasi2169
Jasi2169

Since galacy y i have been only buying samsung devices and from day one i root my device on first day and delete bloats on first day no issues there were time when whole storage was 500mb and ram was 290mb i knw

MR E
MR E

The problem is is that FB pays a shitload of money to Sammy to have their spyware loaded on their hardware, so do you honestly think that Sammy is going to bite the hands that feed their bottom line?

NATESASSASMAN
NATESASSASMAN

Facebook is the first Bloatware App that I delete when I setup my phone; I deleted my Facebook account in 2016 and I do not miss it

djcbs
djcbs

Yeah it’s a problem. Because Samsung should NOT make Facecrap uninstallable. Yes, we can disable it. But considering the security threat that Facebook has become, the smart thing for them would be to at least make it uninstallable. From the PR standpoint it’d be a smarter move than to keep forcing that crap down people’s throats under the “just disable it” excuse.

fcaroll
fcaroll

It is DEFINITELY a problem, also given that samsung preinstalls 3~4 apps related to Facebook. Samsung should *at least* let the users uninstall those preinstalled apps, facebook and all the many other useless ones. If we keep forgiving samsung for this they’ll keep behaving like this, facebook is just the tip of the iceberg

Biransahin
Biransahin

It’s not a problem. I immediately disable FB when I get a new phone, it just leaves a small stub of a few kbs. But I use the Oculus VR and a couple of FB add ons are needed to run the headset so I keep those. The best is to do what I and many others do. Buy an unlocked, sim free phone. It’s the carrier versions that really load on the bloat and some even disable useful software features in favour of some crap they want people to use instead.

locarno
locarno

Good article.
We had few days ago on Samsung Community forum member who told that he don’t buy new Samsung phone because he can’t uninstall facebook from phone. Only disably. And he’s scared about privacy. lol!