Two of the biggest names in consumer technology, Apple and Samsung, are under investigation for alleged planned obsolescence. The investigation, which is being carried out by an Italian anti-trust authority, was first launched against Apple, though recently a separate one has been launched against Samsung too.
While Apple was recently under fire for intentionally decreasing phone performance behind the excuse of damaged batteries, the investigation revolves around the use of software updates to slow devices, in order to make consumers purchase newer ones.
The companies are being blamed of:
…a general commercial policy taking advantage of the lack of certain components to curb the performance times of their products and induce consumers to buy new versions.
Samsung, which had previously denied slowing down phones has reiterated its faith in itself. It has also promised to co-operate with the Italian authorities to make its position known. The company has released a statement on the matter saying,
Samsung does not provide the software updates to reduce the product performance over the life cycle of the device. We will fully cooperate with the Italian Authority for Market and Competition’s investigation in Italy to clarify the facts.
Apple meanwhile has denied making any calculated efforts to specifically reduce the performance of its phones, claiming that “power management” was added in order to give a sustained performance.
Not The First
This is far from the only related lawsuit which Apple has faced in recent times, after both the US and Chinese governments (among others) launched their own probes following the battery scandal. A disgruntled South Korean customer also sued Tim Cook for destruction of property and fraud.
The company has responded by giving users the option of no throttling in return of a warning of unexpected shutdowns. The backlash from the episode is yet to subside, however.