Many phone users suspect it, but Apple and Samsung are both facing multi-million Euro fines for slowing down old smartphones with software updates.
The practice makes old devices less functional – and encourages the purchase of new phones, the Italian antitrust authority AGM said in a statement.
The Italian antitrust authority fined the companies 10 million Euros (£8.84m) and 5 million Euros (£4.4m).
The fines were for encouraging users of old phones to download software updates which slowed the devices down, the antitrust authority AGM said.
AGM said in a statement, ‘’The two companies have induced consumers to install software updates that are not adequately supported by their devices, without adequately informing them, nor providing them an effective way to recover the full functionality of their devices.’
The antitrust authority said that OS updates ’caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced their performance, in this way speeding up their replacement with more recent products.’
The antitrust authority said that users of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 received ‘insistent’ suggestions to update to a new version of Android shipped with the Note 7 device.
The antitrust authority said that Samsung did this ‘without informing them of the serious malfunctions that the new firmware could cause due to greater stress of device’s hardware and asking a high repair cost for out-of-warranty repairs connected to such malfunctions’.
Apple users with iPhone 6 devices were likewise urged to update to new software intended for iPhone 7 ‘without warning consumers that its installation could reduce the speed of execution and functionality of devices’.
Apple and Samsung have yet to comment.