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Samsung fined $5.7 million for slowing down phones, Apple style
- The Italian Authority for Market and Competition just issued a $5.7 million fine to Samsung.
- The fine is tied to the “Samsung slow down” — the drop in performance smartphones sometimes show after receiving new updates.
- Apple’s “Batterygate” was similar in practice. In fact, the Italian watchdog group also fined Apple $11.5 million.
A watchdog group called the Italian Authority for Market and Competition just issued South Korean electronics giant Samsung a fine for 5 million euros (~$5.7 million), via SamMobile. The cash penalty is due to the “Samsung slow down,” i.e., the phenomenon of smartphones dropping in performance after receiving new updates.
The independent investigation into Samsung’s update practices for various smartphones concluded some updates “caused serious dysfunctions and reduced performance significantly, thereby accelerating the process of replacing them.”
The Italian watchdog group also accused Samsung of neglecting to inform customers about the potential impact of the smartphone updates as well as neglecting to provide a way to restore the original functionality of the device(s).
If this all sounds familiar, it’s because Apple’s “Batterygate” scandal in late 2017 exposed the Cupertino company as doing the very same thing. In fact, the Italian Authority for Market and Competition also fined Apple at the same time as it did Samsung, except Apple got hit even harder with a fine for 10 million euros (~$11.5 million), via MacRumors.
When Batterygate was in full swing, Samsung (among other Android OEMs) vowed it had never caused intentional slow down on older devices. Apparently, that’s not the case, at least according to the Italian watchdog’s investigation.
Samsung has yet to issue a statement on the fine.
While $5.7 million for Samsung (or $11.5 million for Apple) is essentially chump change, the fine still represents a concerted effort to create a legal precedent that “Batterygate” and the “Samsung slow down” are things which really happen and need to be monitored.
Have you owned a Samsung device which slowed down considerably as updates came rolling in? Feel free to sound off in the comments on the matter.