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Batterygate Part 2 – ‘Planned obsolescence’

Last week Apple and Samsung were fined for building ‘planned obsolescence’ into their smartphones by the Italian competition authority, after it found that certain smartphone software updates had a negative effect on the performance of devices.

In a statement, the antitrust watchdog said: “Apple and Samsung implemented dishonest commercial practices” and that operating system updates “caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced performance, thus accelerating phones’ substitution”.

Apple has form when it comes to slowing down its phones. At the end of 2017, it accepted that it was slowing down phone performance to enhance battery life. What’s interesting about this ruling is that it also includes Samsung, who have for a long time denied manipulating the performance of their devices.

The ruling is believed to be the first of its kind against smartphone manufacturers and consumers should welcome it – perhaps it may encourage other watchdogs to be more proactive and to start fining companies for carrying out dodgy practices!

Neil Tyler

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