Apple And Samsung Have Been Fined For Intentionally Slowing Down Phones

Image: Apple

Apple and Samsung have both landed themselves in hot water over in Europe, where an Italian consumer protection board has handed down some hefty fines for smartphone software updates that caused slowdowns and malfunctions on customers phones.

The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) has fined Apple a hefty €5 million (around 8 million Australian) for the controversy around the release of iOS 10, where older iPhone 6 phones were forcibly throttled to avoid random shutdowns on ageing hardware.

That's not all the AGCM is annoyed with Apple about, however - it's also issued a second €5 million fine for those universal frustrations with iPhone batteries. More specifically, for not giving customers enough information about their batteries, their expected lifespans and how they can extend that lifespan or replace them at the end of it.

Samsung's controversy was quite similar, though not as widely publicised as the iPhone slowdown issue. Last year the Android 6.0.1 update was pushed to Samsung phones including the then two-year-old Note 4. The old phones didn't cope well with the upgraded system, however, with issues ranging from loss of certain features to some Note 4s being completely bricked.

As in this story from the Android Central forums, when Note 4 users asked Samsung about the problem they were told it was fixable, but that they would be charged for the repairs as the older phone was then out of warranty.

As Samsung didn't warn customers about the potential consequences of installing the updates OS on the Note 4, and charged them for fixing the problems that had resulted, the Italian AGCM is now levying another €5 million fine against Samsung.

Hopefully this action will be enough to ensure that phone manufacturers check new software updates on all phone models the update will be circulated to, and not just the newest one they have on the market.

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