Apple

Italy Launches Inquiry Into Apple, Samsung Regarding Aging Smartphones

Apple and Samsung Electronics are coming under fire by Italian regulators regarding processor slowdowns in aging smartphones.

According to a Thursday (Jan. 18) Reuters report, antitrust regulators in Italy have launched an inquiry into claims that Apple and Samsung have purposely used software updates to speed up the aging process for their older devices. The antitrust arm of the Italian government said in statement that it will look into whether the well-known tech companies intentionally made their products slow down to spark sales of new models.

In December, John Poole, founder of software company Primate Labs, found that iPhone 6s models running iOS versions 10.2 and 11.2 and iPhone 7 phones running iOS 11.2 were more likely to experience slower processing speed. Apple confirmed Poole’s findings, noting on Dec. 20 that the tech company was trying to “smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down,” including in cold weather conditions or as batteries aged.

The news caused a social media backlash, as customers expressed outrage that they had not been informed of the change or given the option to replace the battery. It has also resulted in a class action lawsuit against the Cupertino, California-based company. As a result, Apple issued an apology.

“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down,” the statement read. “We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making. First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”

The company is slashing $50 off the out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement for the next year to smooth things over with consumers. A new software update will also launch early next year, giving users more insight into battery life.

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