An investigation launched by ICA in January 2018 revealed certain smartphone updates were having a negative effect on the performance of older devices.
The Italian watchdog has accused these smartphone makers of negligence in not informing customers about the potential impact of the software updates and in not giving them the option to restore the original functionality of the phone.
Recent Samsung updates for older versions of the smartphones caused these devices to slow down considerably. ICA believes that Samsung did this to accelerate the sales of their newer phones.
Cupertino-based Apple is under fire for doing the exact same thing. Apple’s Batterygate scandal exposed in the late 2017 landed Apple a fine of nearly 10 million Euros. Apple’s iOS updates slowed down iPhone 6, which led to a lot of hue and cry. There was an additional fine imposed against Apple by ICA for not properly informing its customers on the lithium batteries used in the iPhone and on the factors that could hamper the performance of these batteries. It was found that the information such as the average life expectancy of these batteries and how to maintain them was purposefully not shared by the company.
Even Apple has acknowledged in December that it had intentionally slowed iPhones with degraded batteries. The explanation that Apple had given includes that the company slowed iPhones to avoid sudden shutdown problems. However, Apple denied that it had done anything to shorten the life of a product. Apple had even apologized for its actions and reduced the cost of battery replacement for affected customers. Apple faced questions from US senate over slowing down older iPhones, the company is fighting more than 60 US lawsuits over the same issue.
In a statement, Italian regulator ICA has said that Apple and Samsung have implemented dishonest commercial practices. The operating system updates from both the smartphone makers significantly reduced the performance of older devices.