Samsung Lied About Not Using Updates to Slow Down Older Phones
Earlier this year when Apple was caught slowing down their phones via software updates, a move that cost the company a pretty penny. Samsung also took jabs at Apple saying that they don’t engage in planned obsolescence. After Apple’s practices came to light, Italy’s consumer watchdog announced that it was investigating Apple and Samsung. Today, the committee determined was Samsung was guilty of the same practices as Apple.
Samsung found to be actively slowing down older handsets via software updates
Apple said that older iPhones were slowed down through updates to prevent accidental shutdowns. Li-ion batteries degrade over time, and they can’t handle the surge in power requirement when the chip takes on heavy load. Which is why Apple limited the processor speed on other devices through updates. Not only did Apple apologise, but it also released an update which allowed users to opt out of this functionality.
At that time, Samsung explicitly stated that it does not reduce CPU performance through software updates over the life cycles of its smartphones. The company also said that it would cooperate fully with the Italian Authority for Market and Competition during the investigation. Samsung has been fined 5 million euro ($5.7 million) after the study concluded that the updates for smartphones “caused serious dysfunctions and reduced performance significantly, thereby accelerating the process of replacing them.” The committee further added the two companies didn’t provide users with adequate information about the impact of the new updates nor did they provide them with any means of “restoring the original functionality of the products.” Additionally, Apple has been fined an additional $10 million for planned obsolescence and failing to tell consumers about the “essential” characteristics of the lithium batteries in its phones.
Samsung is yet to comment on the matter. While it may not have been limiting CPU speeds, there is no denying that several users complain about degraded performance after a major software upgrade, even on flagship devices such as the Galaxy S8 and Note 8. It isn’t uncommon for Samsung devices to slow down significantly after a major software update, even though Samsung claims that they don’t throttle the CPU. One could blame it on poor software optimization, had it been a one-off incident affecting only a few users. How Samsung plans to remedy the situation remains to be seen.