Samsung fined $5.7 million for slowing down phones through updates

Italy Fines Apple And Samsung Up to €10 Million for Slowing Down Phones

The Italian antitrust watchdog found that "Apple and Samsung implemented dishonest commercial practices".

Specifically, the AGCM said insistent requests were made by manufacturers for consumers to download and install updates on devices that were not able to adequately support them and provided no means of restoring original functionality. The smartphone giant was fined an additional €5 million for failing to provide "essential" information about the phones' lithium batteries, including how long they typically last, and how to maintain and replace them.

Samsung intends to appeal the decision, saying: "Samsung did not issue any software update that reduced the Galaxy Note 4's performance". This pushed consumers to buy new devices, according to AGCM. The performance seemed to suffer on devices with batteries in poor condition.

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Our community cares deeply about receiving the latest Android software updates. Apple's solution was to throttle CPUs on older devices, which began with the iOS 10.2.1 update.

The decision to fine Samsung is a bit of a puzzler, as the performance impact of its updates hasn't attracted almost the same level of criticism as Apple's. It's chump change. Assuming both companies don't immediately contest the ruling, they'll easily be able to absorb this hit and carry on as if nothing happened. The company did later apologise and offer to reduce the cost of a battery change for affected customers.

"In contrast, Samsung has always released software updates enabling our customers to have the best experience possible", it said. It pledged to cooperate with the Italian authorities.

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Apple was handed a fine of €10 million, while Samsung will have to pay €5 million.

Samsung, as well as Apple, both continue to deny any intentional wrongdoing.

Samsung for example told Note 4 users that install the Marshmallow update without informing them "of serious malfunctions due to the greater stresses of the hardware" - malfunctions that led to expensive out-of-warranty repairs in many cases. "Both companies will also be required to publish an amending declaration on the Italian page of their websites informing about Authority's resolution with a link to its assessment decision", also stated the organization's official statement.

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