Italy fines Apple $11.4M over iPhone battery slowdown controversy

in iPhone
Italy's antitrust regulator has fined Apple 10 million euros ($11.4 million) and Samsung 5 million euros ($5.7 million), following an investigation into smartphones being slowed down by operating system updates and allegations of planned obsolescence by the manufacturers.

The Autorit Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) issued the fines to both companies following complaints that software updates slowed down smartphones. Italian consumer groups advised the updates made the smartphones run slower, reducing their functionality, and alleging the updates were made to encourage customers to upgrade to newer models.

Reuters reports the antitrust body said some firmware updates from the two firms "had caused serious dysfunctions and reduced performance significantly, thereby accelerating the process of replacing them." Both companies are also claimed to have failed to provide customers with adequate information about the impact of software updates "or any means of restoring the original functionality of the products."

While both Samsung and Apple were fined 5 million euro following the investigation, Apple was hit by an additional 5 million euro fine for failing to advise to customers how to properly maintain or replace their iPhone batteries.

Apple has previously apologized for making the decision to throttle iPhones with worn batteries, with the intention of preventing performance issues. Introduced with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE in 2016, Apple cited lithium-ion batteries becoming "less capable of supplying peak current demands" in cold conditions and having "a low battery charge" as they age, which can cause iPhones to unexpectedly shut down.

In response to consumer complaints, Apple reduced the cost of the out-of-warranty battery replacements from $79 to $29, then later issued an iOS software update with Battery Health options.


  • Reply 1 of 10
    How incredibly stupid. Legal theft that benefits no one but the government and helps nothing. 
    radarthekatnetmagejbdragoncurtis hannahlolliveranton zuykovbshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 10
    That’s an incorrect ruling . Stupid. Are we gonna buy a new car with better everything and then sue the car makers because techogy made a better car? Deep pockets for some whiney  people to pick. 
  • Reply 3 of 10

    Seems like a decision to just get money or make a political statement.

    Even the moaning and complaining average person would come to see the sense of Apple’s decision if they had to sit through a lengthy defence of their decision to slow down phones with problematic batteries. I personally think it is a good decision—my wife’s 6S just shut down suddenly the other day with 17% battery at a bad time and she would have much preferred it had slowed down instead. But even if it wasn’t the best decision, there was certainly no ill-intent on Apple’s part but rather a genuine desire to provide a better user experience.
  • Reply 4 of 10
    netmagenetmage Posts: 293member
    Did Apple hide the fact the battery was replaceable by Apple for a fee? Did they hide the support document explaining how to best take care of the battery from Italy?
  • Reply 5 of 10
    Aw, since the EU is not approving Italy's new regime budget, they have to look for other forms of income. So sweet!
    jbdragoncurtis hannahbshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 10
    netmage said:
    Did Apple hide the fact the battery was replaceable by Apple for a fee? Did they hide the support document explaining how to best take care of the battery from Italy?
    Initially Apple didn't discuss why the slowdown had happened or point out that it could be remedied with a new battery. Those announcements happened months later after the slow-down was proven by a third party.
    muthuk_vanalingamlarryaajlavon b7
  • Reply 7 of 10
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,897member
    Apple has always advertised the ability to replace a battery, MkNelson.
    edited October 2018 bshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    ajlajl Posts: 115member
    entropys said:
    Apple has always advertised the ability to replace a battery, MkNelson.
    Yes, the ability to replace the battery after it has become inefficient, but not that an unexplainable slowed down phone could achieve its best performance back again after the battery replacement.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,706member
    So Apple is being fined for making older iPhones with degraded batteries still useful rather than crashtastic.

    That'll teach 'em.
    lolliveranton zuykovbshankwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 10
    silvergold84silvergold84 Posts: 73unconfirmed, member
    I live here in italy and believe me that they look only to take money , putting on the same level Apple with samsung. But also who live here and tried and iPhone just know that the iPhones are the only products that still good after long time. So that is bad publicity for Apple , but it come from a nation that have a very bad name so don’t worry . Just don’t report it like a judgment done correctly after think about it. They didn’t. They , italy, did look for money. So speculated. Nothing else. 
    edited October 2018 watto_cobra
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