The biggest names in the mobile and tech industry, Apple and Samsung have been fined millions of dollars for deliberately slowing down their phones. An investigation by an Italian agency Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) found out that the tech giants planned obsolescence for their smartphones. According to the reports, both the companies violated consumer codes by slowing down their phones. This was done so that the process of replacing them is much faster.
Apple and Samsung both have been hit with a fine of £10m and £4.4m respectively. “Apple and Samsung implemented dishonest commercial practices” and that operating system updates “caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced performance, thus accelerating phones’ substitution”.
Apple’s was fined £5 million for its IOS 10 update. This update was meant for the iPhone 7, however, it caused multiple problems with the iPhone 6. Since this update required a lot more power, it resulted in older models to shut down unexpectedly. Moreover, the released a further update of 10.2.1 to tackle this problem. However, they did not inform users that this update will throttle CPUs on older phones with aging batteries.
They were fined another £5 million. This was for not informing the consumers about the lifespan of the lithium batteries and how to maintain or replace them. Apple agreed that they had purposely impeded phones with corrupted batteries through programming updates. However, the company denied that it had anything to do with intentionally shortening the life of a product.
On the other hand, Samsung was been fined €5 million for problems in the Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 update. The update was meant for the Galaxy Note 7. However, people who decided to update their Note 4 complained of the phone being to sluggish. Samsung had suggested’ to owners of the Note 4 phone to install the new version OS.
The report says both companies’ decisions to have customers install newer firmware on older phones “caused serious dysfunctions and reduced performance significantly, thereby accelerating the process of replacing them.”
By Abhishek Aggarwal