Apple and Samsung Get Knuckles Rapped

Apple and Samsung Get Knuckles Rapped
Both smartphone-makers have been punished by the Italian authorities for "planned obsolescence."

(CCM) — Smartphone giants Apple and Samsung have been handed multi-million dollar fines by an Italian regulator because it believes the companies deliberately make their handsets obsolete to encourage users to purchase new ones, the BBC is reporting.

The Italian competition authority handed Apple a €10 million ($11.4 million) fine, and Samsung a smaller €5 million ($5.7 million) one, saying: "Apple and Samsung implemented unfair commercial practices." Both companies will be forced to publish details of the decision on their Italian web sites.

The Italian authority's main complaint was that software updates issued by the two companies often made older handsets run more slowly, which "caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced performance." Although the companies encouraged users to update to the latest software and highlighted new features, it said that they did not point out to users that the performance of their smartphones would likely be reduced.

This meant that after updating the software, many users ended up deciding to upgrade their handsets to newer models, it said.

The reason that Apple's fine was larger than Samsung's is that Apple also failed to tell customers important details about iPhone batteries — such how to prolong their lifespan — the report said.

Samsung has announced that it will appeal the Italian authority's decision.

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