Apple and Samsung fined millions for intentionally slowing down old smartphones

The Italian Competition Authority AGCM has fined Apple and Samsung a whopping 5 million Euros ($5.7m – £4.4m) and 10 million Euros ($11.4m – £8.84m). for what it called “planned obsolescence” of their smartphones.

If you have ever noticed how your old iPhone or Samsung device had performance issues right after a software update that means it was probably because both companies have been slowing down their old devices to encourage users to purchase new ones.

“The two companies have induced consumers 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,” AGCM said in a statement.

Apple fined 5 million Euros ($5.7m – £4.4m) while Samsung has been fined 10 million Euros ($11.4m – £8.84m).

According to an investigation conducted by AGCM, Samsung “insistently suggested” to its 2014’s Note 4 smartphone users in 2016 to update their phone to latest version of Google’s Android system “Marshmallow” that was originally issued for Note 7 devices. However, the company did not inform users of “serious malfunctions due to the greater stresses of the hardware and requiring a high repair cost for out-of-warranty repairs connected to such malfunctions.”

Apple on the other hand also “insistently suggested” its 2014’s iPhone 6 users to update their device’s operating system to the one intended for the more recent iPhone 7 “without warning consumers that its installation could reduce the speed of execution and functionality of devices.”

Furthermore, Apple “did not offer any specific support measures for iPhones that had experienced such operating problems and were no longer covered by the legal warranty; only in December 2017, Apple provided for the possibility to replace batteries at a discounted price,” investigation revealed.

It is noteworthy that back in December 2017, Apple had acknowledged that it intentionally slowed down iPhones over time while in January this year Samsung stated that it “does not provide the software updates to reduce the product performance over the life cycle of the device.”

If you are an Apple or Samsung user; it is too late to regret. At the time of publishing this article; there has been no comment from Apple or Samsung.

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