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O2 eBay deal heralds smartphone bloatware apocalypse

O2 announced that it would pre-install the eBay application on the network operator’s range of smartphones and compatible feature phones while also unveiling plans to provide a pre-installed folder of ‘bloatware’.

The threat of mountains of unwanted pre-installed applications is just around the corner as O2 signs a deal to shovel eBay’s application onto the firm’s range of phone devices, taking a cut of eBay revenue in the process.

O2 will also set up a folder on compatible devices filled with such applications including the ability for the operator to deliver new files into the folder.

The firm bafflingly also revealed plans to allow consumers the ability to migrate the folder fro their smartphone to another device, though no reason was given as to why a phone user would want to copy a bloatware folder somewhere else.

Marketing Week quoted O2’s head of content marketing: "My main objective is to get brands that customers know and love in front of them. We will work with brands to drive value, through preloaded apps or in the app store folder so that access for customers."

Mobile operators have long customised the software on handsets such as inserting links to branded portals or defaulting search engines towards partners that have paid top dollar for the privilege.

With major firms like eBay willing to cut the mobile operator in on their revenue stream, smartphone buyers can look forward to increasing amounts of unasked-for extras on their shiny new device.

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