Samsung first company to agree to pre-install Russian software on smartphones

Samsung Electronics has said that it is willing to comply with the Russian legal requirement to pre-install Russian software on smartphones and computers starting on July 1, Radio Sputnik reports.

“Samsung Electronics will be ready to comply with the requirements of Russian law laid down by the regulator, and to adapt the company’s activity in accordance with the adopted rulings. The amendments to the law will not affect the company’s plans to continue operating in Russia,” the company’s press service stated.

The press service added that Samsung already has experience pre-installing the apps from Russian developers that are most popular among consumers, such as the Group email service and the Yandex search app for smartphones.

Russia’s Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) has imposed requirements on the software that is pre-installed on smartphones and other gadgets sold in Russia. One of the requirements is that the software must “prioritize traditional Russian moral and spiritual values”.

The FAS wants to make manufacturers responsible for the pre-installation. The department notes, however, that if for some reason manufacturers are unable to meet the requirements, they can arrange to have vendors and distributors carry out the pre-installation on their behalf.

In December 2019, electronics manufacturers and retailers said that the law requiring the pre-installation of Russian software could cause stability issues with the devices.

The Association of Trading Companies and Manufacturers of Household Electrical Equipment and Computers (RATEK), which includes Apple, Samsung, Philips, LG and other companies, has suggested that software producers be made responsible for the stable operation of smartphones, computers and smart TVs.

At present, device manufacturers, importers and vendors are responsible for the quality and stability of operation. As of July 1, 2020, a law will take effect which makes it mandatory to pre-install Russian software on smartphones, computers and TVs. The list of devices and programs affected by the law will be determined by the government, and non-compliance will be punishable through fines of around $780-3,100 for legal entities.

RATEK thus believes that the stability of devices’ operation will also depend on the Russian apps install on them. The association says that software producers’ liability should be enshrined in the law “On protecting consumer rights”.

  Samsung, Russia