Apple’s power management feature that slowed down iPhones with older batteries has thrown the company into one of the biggest traumas it ever experienced, with consumers, organizations, and governments alike sending it to court for what was often described as planned obsolescence.
And now it looks like Apple’s criticized practice is dragging down others as well, with the Italian government launching a probe that also involves Samsung.
Italy’s anti-trust body announced it’s looking into possible planned obsolescence on devices manufactured by the two companies, as they said that customers weren’t informed of the performance impact some software updates implemented. This way, customers were forced to purchase new-generation models when a simple battery replacement would have addressed the performance issue.
“As a result of consumer reports and pre-trial activity carried out by the Authority, the Authority decided to initiate two separate proceedings for unfair commercial practices against the companies of the Samsung group and the Apple group operating in Italy,” a Google Translate version of the official announcement reads.
Samsung: We’re not slowing down our phones
No specifics were offered as to why Samsung itself has been involved in the lawsuit, but if found guilty, both companies could be fined millions of dollars for violating articles 20, 21, 22 and 24 of the Italian Consumer Code.
Oddly enough, Samsung previously said that it’s not slowing down devices, as it employs different methods to manage battery degradation without reducing performance.
“Product quality has been and will always be Samsung Mobile's top priority. We ensure the extended battery life of Samsung mobile devices through multi-layer safety measures, which include software algorithms that govern the battery charging current and charging duration. We do not reduce CPU performance through software updates over the lifecycles of the phone,” the firm said.
The Italian watchdog says it has already carried out “inspections” at the offices of the two companies and more information will be released publicly soon.