Apple and Samsung fined for deliberately slowing old phones

Apple and Samsung fined for deliberately slowing down phones

Apple and Samsung find for 'deliberately slowing phones' to prompt upgrades

The Italian Competition and Market Authority (AGCM) opened an investigation against Samsung and Apple over claims of planned obsolescence.

"Apple and Samsung implemented dishonest commercial practices, [operating system updates] caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced performance, thus accelerating phones' substitution."

Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) said on Wednesday that the tech companies had violated Articles 20, 21, 22 and 24 of the Consumer Code because they issued updates to older devices which were incapable of running newer software correctly. Devices with degraded batteries can't handle the surge in power requirement when the chip takes on heavy load. This is following complaints that their software updates had qualities of planned obsolescence, hindering the performance of their own older phones.

Explanations for the slowness range from Apple's iOS causing problems on older devices to the firm deliberately slowing down old phones to make people buy the new handsets.

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The AGCM investigation suggested that Apple had failed to alert customers how long the lithium batteries in iPhones would last and had failed to offer useful information on how to care for them in order to boost their performance and shelf life. That was in January and the investigation has now closed – both companies were found guilty.

Samsung was fined €5m for its Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 update which was intended for the Galaxy Note 7 but which lead to the Note 4 malfunctioning due to the upgrade's demands.

Now, Samsung has been fined for allegedly slowing down one of their older devices in an update.

Apple has apologised for its actions and cut battery replacement costs. "Both companies will also be required to publish an amending declaration on the Italian page of their websites informing about Authority's resolution with a link to its assessment decision", also stated the organization's official statement.

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It also added that the two companies didn't provide users with adequate information about the impact of the new updates nor did they provide them with any means of "restoring the original functionality of the products".

Samsung pledged nonetheless to cooperate with the Italian authorities.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was released back in 2014.

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