Italian watchdog hits Apple, Samsung with fines over planned obsolescence

Italy Fines Apple And Samsung Up to €10 Million for Slowing Down Phones

Now, the Italian anti-trust watchdog has fined Apple 10 Million Euros for "planned obsolescence".

The practice makes old devices less functional - andencourages the purchase of new phones, the Italian antitrust authority AGM said in a statement.

They said the updates 'caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced performance, ' which, in turn, prompted users to update to the latest devices.

Apple users with iPhone 6 devices were likewise urged to update to new software intended for iPhone 7 "without warning consumers that its installation could reduce the speed of execution and functionality of devices". Apple, said the Italian body, did not provide clients with sufficient support options once their legal warranties expired and failed to adequately inform consumers about crucial information regarding their devices' lithium batteries resulting in overall smartphone deterioration. Now it looks like Apple wasn't the only company throttling the old devices. Previous year the Android 6.0.1 update was pushed to Samsung phones including the then two-year-old Note 4.

Apple previously admitted to the practice of slowing down phones, but the company stated that it was to improve the battery life of older models and increase the device's lifespan.

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Apple was handed a fine of €10 million, while Samsung will have to pay €5 million. Both companies are also requested to publish a declaration on their Italian websites containing a link to the Authority's decision.

In response, Apple said it would temporarily lower the cost of battery replacements, and give punters better tools to gauge battery health.

The ICA said its investigations targeted Samsung's Note 4 and Apple's iPhone 6, both released in 2014.

They also sounded out the companies for not telling customers enough about what the impact of installing the updated software would be and failing to offer "or any means of restoring the original functionality of the products".

Apple and Samsung have been hit by hefty fines from the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM), Italy's Competition Authority, over what it claims were unfair commercial practices created to force users to upgrade from perfectly functional previous-generation smartphones to shiny new devices unnecessarily.

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