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No, not every Galaxy S9 will be force-fed bloatware

A deal between Samsung and Oath means that a handful of apps will be installed on some Galaxy S9 phones.


Some Galaxy S9 phones will come with a few surprise apps.

Juan Garzon / CNET

You've probably heard that every single Samsung Galaxy S9 phone will soon include preinstalled apps from its new partner, Oath, whether you like it or no. But we checked with Samsung, and it turns out those initial reports weren't entirely true. 

Yes, Samsung has signed a deal with Oath (known for its Yahoo and AOL brands) to install some of Oath's mobile apps onto its Galaxy S9 phones. Those include Oath's Newsroom app, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance and the Go90 mobile video app, as detailed at Oath's website.

And yes, a Samsung rep confirmed to CNET that they'll be installed on existing phones via software update, not just brand-new phones out of the box.

But before you start panicking about involuntary bloatware taking up space on your new phone, you should know the initial deal only applies to Verizon Galaxy S9 phones. (Oath and Verizon Wireless are both subsidiaries of Verizon Communications.)

Plus, Samsung's rep says you can delete the apps if you want to.

Here are the Galaxy S9 versions that will get the four apps for now:

Here are the versions that won't:

  • Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus phones purchased through other carriers
  • Unlocked Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus phones

It sounds like Samsung and Oath are hoping to make more money from these apps as well -- they'll include "native ads" that blend in with nearby content, according to Reuters. The report says Samsung and Oath will share the ad revenue.

Oath's blog post hints that the preloaded apps (and ads) may also come to other regions around the world, and might also come to Samsung's Note 8, Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus

Oath didn't respond to a request for comment.

CNET's Shara Tibken and Sean Hollister contributed to this report.