Following European organizations, the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia (FAS) also compiled a list of requirements for manufacturers of digital technology. The domestic department plans to oblige Apple and Google to provide the ability to remove installed applications, which are standard on iOS and Android operating systems.
The FAS requirement affects not only smartphones, but also tablets, computers, and smart TVs. The corresponding project was proposed to be developed by the government. The department’s goal is to ensure the complete removal of all pre-installed programs, including those belonging to Google, Apple, and Microsoft, at the request of the user, if this does not interfere with the normal operation of the device. The chief analyst of the Russian Association of Electronic Communications Karen Kazaryan believes that such a step can positively affect the competition among software developers.
Anton Guskov, a representative of the association of trade companies and manufacturers of electrical and computer equipment, in turn, notes that the FAS requirement may violate the rights of consumers. The expert points to the fact that pre-installed applications are usually located in the protected area of the drive to be able to reset to factory settings without losing the functionality of the gadget. This option, in his opinion, is in demand when returning the device to the store or transferring it to another user.
From July 1, 2020, a law comes into force in Russia, according to which domestic map services and search engines must be installed on devices sold in Russia. In 2021, this list will be supplemented by an antivirus, a public services application, messengers and social networks. Manufacturers and retailers will be responsible for installing the basic set of domestic software.
Representatives of Apple, and Google, and Microsoft have not yet commented on the bill. According to analysts, corporations may not agree to the requirements of the antitrust authority, since the removal of some services on smartphones can affect their performance.