Apple, Samsung fined in Italy for slowing down old phones

Apple and Samsung fined for deliberately slowing down phones

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

The investigations followed accusations worldwide that both companies encourage system updates that slow older phones and make them obsolete.

An allegation made by Italy's consumer watchdog claimed: "Apple and Samsung implemented dishonest commercial practices" and that operating system updates "caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced performance, thus accelerating phones' substitution". Apple was fined an additional 5 million euros for failing to provide adequate information on how to maintain and replace phone batteries.

The anti-trust watchdog said Samsung "insistently proposed, from May 2016, to consumers who had purchased a Note 4 (placed on the market in September 2014) to proceed to install the new Android firmware called Marshmallow prepared for the new model phone Note 7, without informing of serious malfunctions due to the greater stresses of the hardware and requiring a high fix cost for the out-of-warranty repairs connected to such malfunctions ".

Basically, it means that they have been building the phones with the direct intention that they slow down over time, forcing you to buy a new one.

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This is the first time that Samsung has been questioned over the software updates for devices. When an OEM updates their devices to bring a newer Android version, we would assume that the new version is faster, more optimized, and just-as-reliable as the older release.

The authority said the companies were given the "maximum prescribed fines" due to their size and the seriousness of the allegations brought against them.

Additionally, the AGCM fined Samsung €5 million pounds.

As Samsung didn't warn customers about the potential consequences of installing the updates OS on the Note 4, and charged them for fixing the problems that had resulted, the Italian AGCM is now levying another €5 million fine against Samsung.

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There have been many complaints in the past from users, in general, where they felt that their phone was operating slower than usual after a particular software update.

A similar investigation is still ongoing in France, where it's illegal to shorten a product's life span to boost sales, the Guardian reports. It pledged to cooperate with the Italian authorities.

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Both smartphone makers were also ordered to publish a declaration on the Italian page of their websites informing consumers about AGCM's decision.

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