Apple and Samsung in Italy fined for making smartphones worse through updates

Oct

24

2018

Italian competition watchdog AGCM gives Apple and Samsung fines for making smartphones worse by means of software updates. Samsung is the Galaxy Note 4 and Apple the iPhone 6 models.

The Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, or AGCM, says that it has carried out two complex investigations, thus finding that Apple and Samsung have carried out unfair trading practices. Apple is fined ten million euros for two offenses, Samsung is fined five million euros for one offense.

According to AGCM, some firmware updates from manufacturers have caused serious failures and significantly reduced the performance of some smartphones. This would have led manufacturers to persuade consumers to purchase a new appliance more quickly.

The authority charges the Samsung that from May 2016 owners of the Galaxy Note 4 have explicitly requested to continue with the installation of the Android Marshmallow update. The organization states that the Android version ‘demands more’ from the hardware of the device and that therefore defects can occur that are not remedied within the warranty. Exactly which defects are exact, the AGCM does not say.

Apple is about the iPhone 6, the 6 Plus and the successors 6s and 6s Plus. Those devices showed problems after the installation of iOS 10 and switched off automatically, even if the battery was not completely empty. The devices also became slower, something that Apple confirmed at the end of 2017 and for which software adjustments have been made.

Apple also gets a fine from the Italian watchdog because the company does not give enough characteristics of the batteries in its smartphones. For example, Apple does not give details about the average life span and wear, and there are also procedures for maintenance, monitoring and replacement of the batteries.

Both Apple and Samsung must publish a page on its Italian website to inform customers of the AGCM’s decision, including a link to the ruling.

At the beginning of this year, the French government announced that it is doing judicial research into Apple’s slowing down of iPhones. The American government also asked Apple about the practices.

iPhone 6S and 6S Plus photos

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