Apple and Samsung fined for planned obsolescence

Italian anti-trust regulator fines each 5m euros for deliberately slowing down older phones

Tags: Anti-competitiveAntitrustApple IncorporatedSamsung Corporation
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Apple and Samsung fined for planned obsolescence Apple told users of iPhone 6 to upgrade to a version of iOS meant for iPhone 7, which degraded performance of iPhone 6. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  October 24, 2018

Apple and Samsung have been fined in Italy for deliberately slowing down older models of phone.

Both companies have been fined €5m ($5.7m) for ‘planned obsolescence' in smartphones by Italy's competition authority, the Guardian reports. The regulator investigated the companies after accusations that both had told users to install later versions of operating systems on older phones that degraded performance on the handsets. Apple and Samsung did not warn users that the OSs would slow down their phones, or give users any means to restore the older OS.

In a statement the authority said:  "Apple and Samsung implemented dishonest commercial practices" and that operating system updates "caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced performance, thus accelerating phones' substitution".

Apple was fined another €5m for failing to inform customers about life expectancy of lithium batteries or providing any information about maintenance or replacement of such batteries.

The ruling is thought to be the first of its kind.

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