Russian users of Samsung smartphones, starting from March 29, began to receive an update of devices with non-removable Yandex services: a browser, maps and Yandex.Disk. It is reported by Kommersant

Thus, the company has prepared for April 1, when the law on pre-installed domestic software on “smart” devices, including smartphones, tablets, TVs and computers, comes into force. This became known from the text of the smartphone firmware update.

The preparation came out rather peculiar. According to the requirements of the Russian government, devices on which domestic software will be preinstalled will have to pass according to two parameters:

  • They must be produced after January 1, 2021;
  • They must be activated from April 1, 2021.

According to Samsung, the Russian division decided to take such a step due to the inability to separate old and new devices:

Taking into account the technical features, the system software is updated for the entire model range.

Samsung

According to Kommersant, the applications were installed on both expensive Galaxy Note20 smartphones and relatively inexpensive Galaxy A series. I checked the editorial Galaxy S20 Ultra and Galaxy A72 – updates with non-removable Yandex applications did not come to these smartphones.

There are no requirements in the law about the impossibility of removing applications. Companies can choose from three different options:

  • Complete installation;
  • Make icons for downloading applications;
  • When activating the device, open a page in front of the user with a choice: to install applications or not.

By the way, Apple took the latter path:

Bend over?

The word is inappropriate in this case. Manufacturers operating in the Russian market, in fact, were not given a choice: either install or leave the market.

Leaving our market would create an important precedent. In a democratic world, reasonable questions would arise: if you left the Russian market due to the strange requirements of local legislation, then why did you not leave the market of the Arab countries, Japan and China, where there are also certain requirements?

The Russian market may be of no interest to any company due to its small size and low paying capacity of the population. But it’s impossible to say that for sure about the Chinese market: from the point of view of doing business, it’s stupid to leave the country where 1/7 of the world’s population lives.

And what about Yandex?

One unnamed mobile analyst suggested that there was some kind of agreement between Yandex and Samsung. However, this assumption is contradicted by the statement of the head of “Yandex” Tigran Khudaverdyan, which he published on his Facebook page:

We never ask any of our partners – be they manufacturers of phones, or tablets, or TVs – to make our applications indelible. We are against this, because doing so is bad for users. We have not signed agreements with phone manufacturers about this, and from a purely human point of view we agree with everyone who is indignant – yes, you cannot do that.

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We turned to Samsung and other vendors with a request not to do this with our applications – not to install Yandex applications without the possibility of uninstalling them.

Tigran Khudaverdyan

Managing Director and Member of the Board of Directors of the Yandex Group of Companies

And here, of course, it is worth paying attention to the last paragraph, where Mr. Khudaverdyan asks not to do what the Russian division of Samsung did.

In his opinion, the company took such a step because of one line in the law:

We have studied the law of presets. In our opinion, there is no non-removability requirement.

This probably happened because some Google services are not removable and the phone manufacturer applied the principle, which in the law sounds like “… to provide no less favorable conditions for the use of pre-installed programs by the consumer …” in relation to Yandex applications, although, as it seems to us, this did not imply the property of “non-removability”.

Tigran Khudaverdyan

Managing Director and Member of the Board of Directors of the Yandex Group of Companies

It is not yet known what Samsung will do in the future.

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