Snapdragon Android devices to get security preloaded after Kaspersky-Qualcomm deal

Kaspersky apps could get a jump on rivals it competes with on Google Play.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

Kaspersky has a locked in a deal with mobile chip giant Qualcomm to offer OEMs "special terms" for preloading its $15 mobile security app on Snapdragon devices.

Desktop PC users will be familiar with Windows machines that are pre-installed with McAfee, Symantec and other security products which offer the software for a period for free before asking the user to upgrade to a paid-for version. Kaspersky has such an arrangement with Lenovo and the Russian security vendor has now signed a deal with Qualcomm that brings a similar distribution model to Android. 

Smartphone and tablet brands that build devices running Snapdragon processors or have them built by others will be offered "special terms" for preloading Kaspersky's Mobile Security and Tablet Security apps, which currently sell for $15 and $20 respectively.

"In Kaspersky Lab, we have a solid number of global companies we work with, and Qualcomm Technologies will be one of the most important among them. We are looking forward to providing solutions to a wide range of device manufacturers, who are designing and/or building Snapdragon-enabled mobile devices or tablets running on Android," Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said in a statement.

It's not clear from the statement how Kaspersky's products will be installed or how it will be offered to end users, however pre-loaded apps from device makers are often part of the firmware and cannot be easily removed.

Kaspersky Lab CTO Nikolay Grebennikov told Russian media that it talks with mobile vendors like Qualcomm about integrating security solutions on the "lower level of the operating system". ZDNet has asked Kaspersky for more details about how it will integrate its product with devices and will update the story when it receives a response.

Kaspersky recently scored top marks in a recent comparison of Windows 7 desktop products by German testing outfit AV-Test. However, its products lagged behind more popular apps like Lookout and TrustGo in a mobile face-off.

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