Apple and Samsung have been hit with fines by European regulators over throttling their devices to slow them down.
Italy’s anti-trust watchdog said on Wednesday it was fining Apple and Samsung five million euros ($5.7 million) each following complaints they used software updates to slow down their mobile phones.
Apple was hit with an additional five million euro fine for failing to give clients clear information about how to maintain or eventually replace handset batteries […]
The anti-trust body said in a statement that some Apple and Samsung firmware updates “had caused serious dysfunctions and reduced performance significantly, thereby accelerating the process of replacing them”.
It added the two firms had not provided clients adequate information about the impact of the new software “or any means of restoring the original functionality of the products”.
Consumers had complained the companies were throttling their devices via software updates, allegedly as part of an effort to slow the handsets and push the users into buying new devices.
For its part, Apple claimed it had slowed older devices to prevent devices with degraded battery performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.
Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.
Apple later offered discounted battery replacements as well as the ability to turn off iPhone throttling in the iOPS Settings app.