Italian Competition Authority – AGCM conducted two separate investigations for Apple and Samsung.
The findings were shocking: both Apple and Samsung were found guilty of intentionally using software updates to slow their devices down.
The details of the case were confirmed in a press release dated 24 October:
AGCM has ascertained that companies of Samsung group and Apple group have carried out unfair commercial practices in violation of Articles 20, 21, 22 and 24 of the Consumer Code in relation to the release of some firmware updates for their mobile phones which caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced their performance, in this way speeding up their replacement with more recent products.
Both Apple and Samsung are also guilty of not informing consumers about updates which may not be supported on certain phones and not “providing an effective way to recover the full functionality of their devices.”
Samsung received a fine of €5 million (a staggering figure just shy of R83 million), while Apple received two penalties of €5 million for separate contested practices.
Apple didn’t respond to CNET’s request of comment but Samsung said in an email statement that they are “disappointed with the Italian Competition Authority decision.” They explained:
“Samsung did not issue any software update that reduced the Galaxy Note 4’s performance. In contrast, Samsung has always released software updates enabling our customers to have the best experience possible. We will take necessary legal actions to appeal the ICA’s decision.”
Back in December, Apple admitted to slowing down their older iPhone models to compensate for battery issues and said it was in no way a ploy to sell newer replacement models.
The cellphone giant wrote on their website that there’s been a misunderstanding about the issue and gave an explanation about how batteries age. They added:
“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologise. […] First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”
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