Apple and Samsung fined for ‘deliberately slowing down old phones’
Apple and Samsung fined for ‘deliberately slowing down old phones’
Apple and Samsung fined for deliberately slowing down phones
26 October, 2018, 00:16
Apple and Samsung have been fined ten and five million euros (£10m and £4.4m / $11.5m and $5.7m) respectively for the "planned obsolescence" of their smartphones.
Italy's competition authority noted that there was a "significant information asymmetry of consumers vis-a-vis the producers - to install software updates that are not adequately supported by their devices, without adequately informing them, nor providing them an effective way to recover the full functionality of their devices".
Apple also received a second €5 million fine for not providing consumers with information about the average lifespan of their phone's batteries, and how to replace and maintain them.
But that was "without informing them of the serious malfunctions that the new firmware could cause due to greater stress of device's hardware and asking a high fix cost for out-of-warranty repairs connected to such malfunctions". Aside from the issue of manufacturers failing to support older devices with security updates, a problem far more prevalent in the world of Android handsets than Apple's iOS equivalents, there's little wrong with a two-year-old device - unless, that is, the manufacturer cheekily inserts a few problems via an over-the-air firmware update. Last year, Apple was forced to apologize to consumers after it admitted throttling the performance of older phones. This was the result of Apple admitting that they slow down old iPhones with updates and gave a decent reason for their actions.
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Additionally, the AGCM fined Samsung €5 million pounds. That was in January and the investigation has now closed both companies were found guilty.
Samsung said it was "disappointed" with the decision and said it would appeal. Also, both companies will be required to post notices with links to this decision by the Authority on their Italian websites.
Apple acknowledged in December that it had intentionally slowed iPhones with degraded batteries through software updates to avoid sudden shutdown problems, but denied it had ever done anything to intentionally shorten the life of a product.
Samsung for example told Note 4 users that install the Marshmallow update without informing them "of serious malfunctions due to the greater stresses of the hardware" - malfunctions that led to expensive out-of-warranty repairs in many cases.
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