It's well known among consumers that some smartphones can turn into a brick after just a couple of years, and it always seems to coincide with when a new handset comes out. Funny that.
In response to the allegations of planned obsolescence, the Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) has completed two investigations. They have recently published their findings, which state that both Apple and Samsung have been found to engage in unfair commercial practices with regards to firmware updates.
According to the press release, "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 [with] an effective way to recover the full functionality of their devices."
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Apple and Samsung have both been fined the maximum amount under the law, being €5 million each. In addition, AGCM found that Apple "has not adequately informed consumers about some essential characteristics of lithium batteries, such as their average duration and deterioration factors, nor about the correct procedures to maintain, verify and replace batteries in order to preserve full functionality of devices." This second ruling has resulted in an additional €5 million fine.
Apple admitted in a public statement in December 2017 that it deliberately slowed down older handsets so that the ageing batteries are better able to cope with the demand of newer software. The French authorities are currently investigating allegations of this planned obsolescence in Apple's iPhone, although a judgement has not yet been reached.