Apple and Samsung hit with fines in Italy for deliberate phone throttling

Customers were encouraged to download updates despite older devices being incapable of powering newer software

Apple and Samsung have been fined by the Italian competition authority following an investigation into the "planned obsolescence" of their smartphones, resulting in users essentially being forced into upgrading to newer and more expensive versions.

Autorit Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) said on Wednesday that the tech companies had violated Articles 20, 21, 22 and 24 of the Consumer Code because they issued updates to older devices which were incapable of running newer software correctly. This meant the performance of older devices was affected and, in some cases, caused handsets to malfunction.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The authority claims that this was done deliberately in order to force users to upgrade to newer devices after experiencing degradation in their current smartphone.

For example, Samsung was said to have told Galaxy Note 4 customers to install the latest Android operating system which was designed to run on the latest Note 7 devices, causing the performance of the older model to noticeably drop.

Following the investigation, Apple has been charged 10 million (8.8m), while Samsung has been fined 5 million (4.4m). Both companies will be required to mention on their websites that they have been sanctioned.

The AGCM said both companies "implemented unfair commercial practices".

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

"Samsung did not issue any software update that reduced the Galaxy Note 4's performance," a Samsung spokesman said. "In contrast, Samsung has always released software updates enabling our customers to have the best experience possible."

Apple has not commented on the decision, although AGCM said the reason it was fined a much larger amount was because the manufacturer failed to tell customers how to improve the lifespan of the lithium batteries, despite being obligated to.

Featured Resources

Preparing for long-term remote working after COVID-19

Learn how to safely and securely enable your remote workforce

Download now

Cloud vs on-premise storage: What’s right for you?

Key considerations driving document storage decisions for businesses

Download now

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Transforming productivity

Solutions that facilitate work at full speed

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/business/business-operations/356395/nvidia-overtakes-intel-as-most-valuable-us-chipmaker
Business operations

Nvidia overtakes Intel as most valuable US chipmaker

9 Jul 2020
Visit/laptops/29190/how-to-find-ram-speed-size-and-type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020
Visit/server-storage/servers/356083/the-best-server-solution-for-your-smb
Sponsored

The best server solution for your SMB

26 Jun 2020