AGCM says that both the companies are using software updates to slow down devices in order to influence the customer to buy new devices.
Italy's anti-trust organization has launched a probe against Apple and Samsung over the intentional slowdown of their smartphones. The regulator has accused both the companies of “commercial policy aimed at exploiting the shortcomings of some (tech) components to reduce the performance of their products over time and persuade consumers to purchase new versions”.
Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) says that both the companies are using software updates to slow down devices in order to influence the customer to buy new devices. According to the regulator, the two companies failed to “provide enough information for the maintenance of adequate performance levels of the devices, which were promoted and purchased based on their specific and elevated technological characteristics.” The watchdog claims that the behaviour could in violation of articles 20, 21, 22, and 24 of the consumer code.
Meanwhile, Apple now faces 32 lawsuit actions for intentional slow down of older iPhones in the US. Further, Apple customers in other markets such as France, Canada, Australia and South Korea have hired attorneys to take legal action against the Cupertino-based giant.
Apple has already apologized over the slowdown of older iPhones. The Cupertino-based giant is now offering cheaper battery replacements as well.
“We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize,” Apple said in a statement.
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The company further asserted that they will “never do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple products, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades”. The brand says that with iOS 10.2.1, we brought software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE. That’s why in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance.
Apple has also announced that it is reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 — from $79 to $29 — for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, starting in late January and it will be available worldwide through December 2018. Further, the company will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of iPhone’s battery, so can see if battery problem is affecting the performance of the device.
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