Haha wow. Not even sure where to start. For one it's a numbers game, throw the apps out there and maybe %10 will use it, maybe even %1. That's still more people putting money in their pocket than previously. Most of the users don't care about bloatware, if anything they view it as ATT offering them more than they got originally and at most a minor annoyance. So long as it doesn't brick their device they don't care, at most they just won't use it. The idea that "if you want it then find it on the market, and then choose ours over the competition" is just silly, why leave it to chance when you can increase your odds by putting your app on their phone directly in their face? %99.9 of users are frustrated by the addition of more bloatware or are infuriated by having it at all? we all know that's not even close to true, I've never heard a friend complain that the update to their phone added more apps. If you really think any of the higher-ups are reading your rant you're delusional. Go ahead and spam them, and again if you really think that goes directly to their inbox, you're delusional. Sure it will be addressed by someone, but it won't be any of the higher ups your trying to contact. Do you really think they're tech savvy enough to even know what you're talking about? They're put in place because they know how to manage multi-billion dollar companies, not because they know the ins and outs of a cell phone.
"shoved down their throats" is a bit of an exaggeration. They load the app on the phones, it's not like it cripples the device or stops the device from functioning unless you use it. The S5 is still a rockstar even with the bloat. I do concur that most of us here are probably the people that relatives/family go to for phone advice. However guarantee neither of my parents or any relative for that matter would care about a phone having bloatware. They want a phone that will serve a purpose and maybe they can play some games on it.
They are protecting their assets. The more options you have to use a competing service the more money they lose. reduce the ability to use the competitor and you rid yourself of that chance.
That all being said I am not a fan of bloatware, at all. Nor am I agreeing with their tactics. But step into reality. They want to maximize profits and get their users to use their apps so it can be billed to them.
I do have another theory for how much the phones are locked down these days. If anyone has followed the news; they're trying to head off phone thefts, they've spiraled out of control. Easiest way to prevent someone from stealing a phone? make sure that even if it is stolen, it can't be used anywhere because it's locked down like fort knox (pun sort of intended :-p )
Sorry for any feathers i've ruffled.
In the end though lets just agree to disagree as we really do need to stay on track of the OP which was of course all about rants due to bloatware in the OTA.