Apple, Samsung fined in Italy for slowing down their smartphones

Apple, Samsung fined in Italy for slowing down their smartphones

Apple and Samsung have been fined millions of euros each for intentionally slowing down older phones.

Hopefully this action will be enough to ensure that phone manufacturers check new software updates on all phone models the update will be circulated to, and not just the newest one they have on the market. Apple was smacked with an additional 5 million euro fine for failing to provide customers with information about essential characteristics of the batteries in their phones and how to care for them.

The investigation and subsequent penalty came after the agency received a bevy of complaints from Italian consumer groups over claims that software updates were hampering the functionality of phones, and were a covert strategy to force consumers to upgrade to newer handsets. The watchdog also believes that Apple didn't inform customers about the means to keep their devices in top condition, and therefore it inadvertently created an environment in which users were forced to buy newer devices. Devices with degraded batteries can't handle the surge in power requirement when the chip takes on heavy load.

Samsung's software updates for its phones have not previously been questioned. Apple's solution was to throttle CPUs on older devices, which began with the iOS 10.2.1 update.

Last year, Apple acknowledged issues with previous iPhone models and their battery performance after updating to the latest version.

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The ACGM said both companies had been fined the highest possible amount reflecting the severity of their dishonest practices.

Samsung plans to appeal the fine.

Back in January, we learned that Italy's antitrust watchdog had begun investigating both Apple and Samsung over software updates.

Both smartphone makers were also ordered to publish a declaration on the Italian page of their websites informing consumers about AGCM's decision. The company did later apologise and offer to reduce the cost of a battery change for affected customers.

Additionally, the AGCM fined Samsung €5 million pounds. It pledged to cooperate with the Italian authorities. We hope to see the technical details of the case to determine how the authorities concluded that Samsung slowed down the Note 4 intentionally.

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