Apple, Samsung under investigation by Italian government over planned obsolescence allegat...

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 18
Italy's antitrust organization has launched a probe investigating allegations that Apple and Samsung use software updates not as a tool to secure or expand upon smartphone capabilities, but to speed up the aging process and force users to buy new phones.




A statement by the Autorit Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) launching the investigation cites consumer complaints of slower devices after operating system updates. The group will determine in a pair of investigations if the companies are introducing the updates intentionally to cripple phones, and force Italian citizens to buy new ones, based on seeming obsolescence.

While not specifically calling out Apple's chemically depleted battery-related throttling by name, the group says that Apple failed to provide sufficient information to users to guarantee an "adequate level of performance." Neither Apple nor Samsung have ever guaranteed a minimum speed on their devices in any advertising.

AGCM claims that the behavior could be in violation of articles 20, 21, 22, and 24 of the consumer code, all relating to promises made by companies to consumers.

It has been conclusively proven in older testing, as well as in benchmarks collated by GeekBench that showed the depleted battery throttling routines in action that older iPhone hardware with an adequately functioning battery is no slower than it was at launch, and moves bits from register to register just as fast as they always have. Any "slowdown" is related to the additional load that more advanced software places on older hardware, as it always has since the dawn of computing.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview on Wednesday that Apple instituted the throttling mechanisms in an attempt to improve the reliability and reduce the crashing of devices with aged batteries. The revelation has since spawned numerous class-action lawsuits and government inquiries into so-called planned obsolescence.

"When we did put it out, we did say what it was, but I don't think a lot of people were paying attention and maybe we should have been clearer, as well" Cook said. "And so we deeply apologize for anybody that thinks we had some other kind of motivation."

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    (Insert facepalm GIF here)
    viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 18
    At this point, is there anyone who isn’t suing Apple or putting them under investigation? Stories every day almost.
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 18
    Um, isn't technology in general considered planned obsolescence if one wants to stay current.
    jbdragonStrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 18
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,232member
    They just want headlines, so see the glass as half empty!
  • Reply 5 of 18
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,875member
    The problem for Apple is there are too many morons out there who will think Apple is doing this to get you to buy a new phone. Any explanation from Apple isn't going to change their opinion.
    entropysfuzzylobesStrangeDaysrob53mwhitewatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,901member
    The problem for Apple is there are too many morons out there who will think Apple is doing this to get you to buy a new phone. Any explanation from Apple isn't going to change their opinion.
    So people who buy Apple products really are stupid, just like the trolls say?
    ivanhzimmermannfeudalist
  • Reply 7 of 18
    The vast majority of the people aggressively claiming that aren’t Apple users, Lkrupp.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,700member
    ppartekim said:
    Um, isn't technology in general considered planned obsolescence if one wants to stay current.


    Crap, How come I can't run Windows 10 on my 286 Desktop computer, or 386 for that matter? Tech in general is moving forward at a high rate. I deal with this on Industrial Machines where they only may make a few or hundreds in a year. Sometimes just trying get what you would think is a pretty simple Item, has since, no longer being made. It's been updated. May not work. May cost a lot to change a lot of other things to make it work. They move forward because they can't get the needed parts anymore because again things in Tech keep moving forward.

    If you look at what MacOS looks like in the early days to now, and same with Windows. Far, far slower CPU's, a fraction of the memory and storage. No GPU's back then. Things have since changed greatly.

    Smartphones as it is take a lot of abuse. You're jamming them into your pocket. They're falling onto the ground. A lot of wear and tear. You can't sit there and do nothing and Stagnate. Lets never make Windows, or MacOS, or iOS or Android better. Just keep it where it's at. I just find that funny.

    Like on Desktop and Laptop computers, as the OS grows and gets better and more features, it requires more power, more everything. It's not just the OS, but the Apps running on it that at the same time are also going larger, and more complex. Also getting better in the process. This also adds to slowdown.

    Quite frankly, now into my 4th year on my iPhone 6, it runs quite a bit better then my iPhone 4 when I was into it's 4th year!!! No one says you have to upgrade every year or every other year. I'm on my second iPhone in over 7 years. I plan to upgrade to a new iPhone this year. The iPhone XI or whatever Apple is going to call it. That is at least the plan. I sold that 4+ year old iPhone 4 to T-Mobile for $202.

    The longer you hold on, the better value. It is a computer, TECH and so it'll continue to get slower as everyone movies forward.
    GG1viclauyycwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 18
    The problem for Apple is there are too many morons out there who will think Apple is doing this to get you to buy a new phone. Any explanation from Apple isn't going to change their opinion.

    The irony is that using power management on iPhones with failing batteries allows the users to use their iPhones WITHOUT unexpected and premature shutdowns/restarts. It is the unexpected shutdowns (without the power management that Apple included in iOS) that is MORE LIKELY to cause frustrated users to feel the need to go out and buy a new phone.

    NOT having premature shutdowns/restarts means that the iPhone owner will NOT be encouraged to buy a new phone.

    Apple provides notice to the user, in Settings>Battery, when the internal rechargeable battery is failing, and directs them to replace the battery. Once the failing battery is replaced with a new one, the power management routine is no longer needed, and the iPhone runs at full speed again. Replacing the battery and getting unhindered operation again, is another reason why the iPhone owner is LESS LIKELY to want to buy a new phone.

    And Apple has been excellent at supporting older phones (up to 5 years old) by maintaining iOS updates for them... Something that you don't see to the same extent in Android phones!

    If anything, Apple has done everything possible to avoid the appearance of "planned obsolescence", by making older iPhones useful and productive for a very long time.

    edited January 18 StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 18
    They really should be suing Microsoft.  With hardware & software unchanged (except Windows Updates) performance degrades rapidly.  

    I don’t know how they’d determine it’s intentional or incompetence...

    Samsungs (Android’s) biggest problem is getting people updates, not necessarily performance issues.

    With every iOS major update I do wipe it clean.  With the minor updates I’ve never had a problem.

    This does seem like a “me to” lawsuit over a known battery problem that’s already being addressed.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 18
    “When we did put it out, we did say what it was, but I don't think a lot of people were paying attention ...”

    Where did Apple say this? In the release notes or somewhere else?
  • Reply 12 of 18
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,838member
    arinker said:
    “When we did put it out, we did say what it was, but I don't think a lot of people were paying attention ...”

    Where did Apple say this? In the release notes or somewhere else?
    Interview with ABC News. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/apple-make-350b-contribution-us-economy-years/story?id=52405662

  • Reply 13 of 18
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,544administrator
    arinker said:
    “When we did put it out, we did say what it was, but I don't think a lot of people were paying attention ...”

    Where did Apple say this? In the release notes or somewhere else?
    The words "on wednesday" are a link to AI's story on the video.

    edited January 18
  • Reply 14 of 18
    lkrupp said:
    The problem for Apple is there are too many morons out there who will think Apple is doing this to get you to buy a new phone. Any explanation from Apple isn't going to change their opinion.
    So people who buy Apple products really are stupid, just like the trolls say?
    I didn't mean it like that. I was watching local news and they were randomly asking people about what Apple is doing and majority of them said Apple is doing this to get you to buy a new phone. Saw the same thing on national news as well. My point is just people are going to make assumptions and have an opinion regardless of what Apple says. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 18
    You have an iPhone 4S and mad cuz you can’t run iOS 11 at full throttle 🙄
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 18
    uraharaurahara Posts: 156member
    lkrupp said:
    The problem for Apple is there are too many morons out there who will think Apple is doing this to get you to buy a new phone. Any explanation from Apple isn't going to change their opinion.
    So people who buy Apple products really are stupid, just like the trolls say?
    Yes. They are. Though slightly smarter than every one else. 
  • Reply 17 of 18
    adm1adm1 Posts: 762member
    "When we did put it out, we did say what it was, but I don't think a lot of people were paying attention and maybe we should have been clearer, as well" Cook said.

    This was all that was mentioned in the update notes...
    “improvements to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing with their iPhone.”

    I think that was possibly Tim's very own "they're holding it wrong" moment. smh
    gatorguymuthuk_vanalingamarinker
  • Reply 18 of 18
    If one faces a performance issue due to software update AND don't mind going back to previous well-performing version, they should be "allowed" to go back to the previous well performing version. It is this aspect that would be examined as part of these investigations, I guess.
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