Where I live, phones are bought unlocked and operator pre-installed useless bloat is not something I've ever encountered. But for many of you who have just plunked down a few hundreds of dollars on a phone, upfront or via contract, the carrier isn't nice enough to let you have that device as it was intended to be. No-oh, siree, thou shalt have at least ten different apps shoved down your internal storage, uninstallable, and thou shalt be happy about it because the carrier knows what's good for you (™). Well, Deutsche Telekom - i.e. T-Mobile's parent company - is changing that in Germany and we need to take a break to applaud it.
The news was announced late last week, but it took a few days to traverse some seas and oceans to reach us. It's still worth pointing out though, even if it will only affect a few of our readers, because we can't help but love what DT is doing here. From now onward, a huge list of devices sold by the carrier won't come with any pre-installed apps. When you insert your Deutsche Telekom SIM in them for the first time, you'll set up your device as usual but will get a list of recommended apps from DT either during setup or afterward. You can freely select which ones you want installed and will be given the choice to receive notifications and updates for these apps. More importantly, you can later uninstall all of them if you wish.
The other best part about all of this? Firmware updates should be delivered in a timely manner as they will come straight from the manufacturer, like an unlocked device, and won't have to pass by DT first. However, the only sad bit is that it seems like existing branded devices won't be getting an update to remove all of the bloat, so the news applies only to new purchases. If you need to know more, Deutsche Telekom has the list of compatible devices and a few explanations on its page linked in the source below.
And now, for the promised applaud sequence:
Hopefully, other operators will hear the message and follow suit across Europe and the rest of the world. Everyone deserves a clean device untouched by the grubby hands of operators. And I'm specifically looking at you, Orange France, for the abhorrent, unforgivable, and unremovable "Orange F" logo you plaster on the status bar of your devices, completely taking over the notifications' place. My friend showed it to me a few days ago and I still can't get over how despicably low it is of Orange.
- Deutsche Telekom (german)