Italy antitrust watchdog fines Apple and Samsung over performance degrading updates

Italy antitrust watchdog fines Apple and Samsung over performance degrading updates

Italy antitrust watchdog fines Apple and Samsung over performance degrading updates

As The Guardian notes, the fine followed an investigation into accusations that "operating system updates for older phones slowed them down, thereby encouraging the purchase of new phones".

An investigation by the anti-trust authority revealed that "Apple and Samsung implemented dishonest commercial practices", a statement said.

Apple was hit with a 10 million euro (£8.8m) fine while Samsung received a smaller bill of five million euros. The authority found that updates on some devices from these manufacturers made the devices slower, which the courts argued was done to push consumers to buy newer products.

Apple has been a longstanding target of criticism for the way it throttles CPU performance on iPhone models with lower capacity batteries. To their eyes, both companies pushed users to download updates that they knew would disrupt the phone's functioning.

Since September 2016, Apple repeatedly prompted iPhone6 customers to update the software on their phones to an operating system that had been designed for the next generation model, iPhone7, without alerting consumers that the update could lead the handsets to malfunction, the report said.

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Apple admitted last December that it does slow down the performances of its machines over time, claiming that they do so in order to prevent sudden shut downs of old batteries.

Samsung denied slowing down phones through software updates earlier this year when Apple was caught in the controversy. According to the statement, the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update caused multiple malfunctions on the Galaxy Note 4, and Samsung increased the cost of fixing those issues.

KitGuru Says: Apple and Samsung have yet to comment on this ruling but I imagine some kind of appeal will be filed. Also, both companies will be required to post notices with links to this decision by the Authority on their Italian websites.

It added the two firms had not provided clients adequate information about the impact of the new software "or any means of restoring the original functionality of the products". In fact, the Italian watchdog group also fined Apple $11.5 million.

Teenagers posing with their Samsung Galaxy S4 (left) and iPhone 4 smartphones.

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