In mid-July, Verizon (s vz) pushed the Slacker music application to all BlackBerry Storm devices. The software is tied directly to Verizon’s VCast store so if you like what you hear on Slacker, Verizon is happy to sell you the track right over the air. I just received word from Slacker that Verizon is dancing to the same tune on the hot, new BlackBerry Tour (s rimm) handset as well. While you can opt out for a camera on the Tour, you can’t skip a beat without Slacker.
I’m curious how folks feel about this particular situation. For years, we’ve dealt with custom carrier builds and branded services. Sometimes we’re able to remove those apps and sometimes we’re not. In a way, the automatic installation of Slacker on the Storm and Tour, isn’t much different than having it pre-installed on a device out of the box. And it sounds to me like Verizon figures it can earn more audio track revenues with a third-party title than with their own software. But that’s the question — Slacker is a third party title that can be installed, or not, on many other handsets. It’s normally up to the handset owner if they want Slacker. Not this time, though. Consumers can always just not use the software, but what if you want to reclaim that storage space?
Is this a non-issue or a practice that bothers you?