Italy’s Competition Authority (AGCM) is fining Apple and Samsung 5 million Euros (~RM24 million) each. This is following complaints that their software updates had qualities of planned obsolescence, hindering the performance of their own older phones.
The former has been hit with an additional 5 million Euros (~RM24 million) for failing to provide clear information about maintaining and replacing iPhone batteries to its customers.
A statement from the competition authority reads, “The two companies have induced consumers to install software updates that are not adequately supported by their devices, without adequately informing them, nor providing them an effective way to recover the full functionality of their devices.”
Apple is no stranger to cases like this. The company admitted in December last year that it was indeed throttling older iPhones because the aging batteries within them could not keep up. This was followed by offers of reduced prices for out-of-warranty batteries, as well as the option to turn off the throttling altogether.
Samsung, on the other hand, insisted that it “has always released software updates enabling our customers to have the best experience possible,” and will appeal the decision.
The AGCM decided to fine the Korean tech giant after reviewing customer service records spanning months, as well as internal Samsung emails. They all point to the fact that an Android update in 2016 was not optimised for the Galaxy Note 4. This resulted in excess stress on the aging device, causing malfunctions and automatic restarts.