Apple, Samsung fined millions for slowing phones

Apple, Samsung fined millions for slowing phones

Apple, Samsung fined millions for slowing phones

Apple and Samsung have been hit by hefty fines from the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM), Italy's Competition Authority, over what it claims were unfair commercial practices created to force users to upgrade from perfectly functional previous-generation smartphones to shiny new devices unnecessarily. Apple was said to be slowing down phones on objective to nudge customers to purchase newer iPhones.

It is thought that this is the first time such a ruling has been made against any smartphone company, although it had been suspected for some time that something like this was going on.

It has also said it would change its software to show users whether their phone batteries were working well. Complaints of "planned obsolescence" appear to have carried a bit of weight, as the Italian anti-trust team has passed down fines to both companies. Unfortunately, guilty is the verdict for both companies.

It said it slowed models to extend the performance of the phone - which uses less power when running at slower speeds - and to prevent unexpected shutdowns. Devices with degraded batteries can't handle the surge in power requirement when the chip takes on heavy load.

Have you owned a Samsung device which slowed down considerably as updates came rolling in?

Apple and Samsung fined for deliberately slowing down phones
Apple and Samsung fined MILLIONS for slowing down smartphones

This was done to ensure that there wasn't a big enough spike in the power requirement that the battery couldn't deal with. However, Apple didn't inform users that this would happen.

Apple has not commented on the decision, although AGCM said the reason it was fined a much larger amount was because Apple failed to tell customers how to improve the lifespan of the lithium batteries, despite being obligated to. It denied the planned obsolescence claims yet again when the Italian watchdog launched its investigation.

The Italian authorities see things differently.

The antitrust authority said that OS updates 'caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced their performance, in this way speeding up their replacement with more recent products'. While Samsung's updates were not previously questioned before, the South Korean company has not provided clients adequate information about the impact of the new software "or any means of restoring the original functionality of the products", as the report states. This pushed consumers to buy new devices, according to AGCM.

Samsung has yet to issue a statement on the fine.

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