Apple and Samsung fined $5.7 million each by Italian anti-trust watchdog over slowing down phones


Italy’s anti-trust watchdog has fined Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics 5 million euros ($5.7 million) each over reports suggesting both the companies slowed down their phones through software updates. the Cupertino company was hit with an additional 5 million euro fine for failing to give clear information about how to maintain or eventually replace handset batteries.

Italian consumer groups report that software updates for Apple and Samsung smartphones reduced the functionality of the devices and were designed to push users into buying new handsets. The anti-trust body said in a statement that some Apple and Samsung firmware updates “had caused serious dysfunctions and reduced performance significantly, thereby accelerating the process of replacing them”.

Both the companies failed to provided users with adequate information about the impact of the new software “or any means of restoring the original functionality of the products”. Apple, however, acknowledged last year’s iOS had slowed down some phones with battery problems but denied it had ever done anything to intentionally shorten the life of a product. The firm apologized for its actions and cut battery replacement costs.

Samsung’s software updates for its phones have not previously been questioned. But the Italian regulator said that it took the decision based on complaints about the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that was released in September 2014. Furthermore, It found in a months-long review of customer service records and internal emails from Samsung that an Android operating system update released in 2016 was not optimized for the Galaxy Note 4.

The update said to have caused serious malfunctions, including unwanted automatic restarts since it was causing too much stress for aging Note 4.

Samsung said in the statement that it was disappointed with the decision and would appeal. “Samsung did not issue any software update that reduced the Galaxy Note 4’s performance,” the statement said. “In contrast, Samsung has always released software updates enabling our customers to have the best experience possible.”

Source | Via