Apple and Samsung both fined in Europe for deliberately degrading phone performance

iPhone battery replacement

Even though Apple added a toggle to iOS which disables the controversial CPU throttling and offered consumers discounted battery replacements, the Italian watchdog has fined the Cupertino technology giant ten million euros, which works out to about $11.4 million bucks, over using software updates to slow down iPhones and push people into buying new models.

Apple was first hit with five million euros over the controversial practice, and then with an additional five million euro fine for failing to give users clear information from the onset about how to maintain or eventually replace worn-out batteries.

Reuters reported Wednesday that Samsung, too, is being fined five million euros over complaints that it used software updates to slow down their mobile phones—that’s interesting considering that Samsung’s own software updates have not previously been questioned.

From the article:

The anti-trust body said in a statement that some Apple and Samsung firmware updates ‘had caused serious dysfunctions and reduced performance significantly, thereby accelerating the process of replacing them’.

It added the two firms had not provided clients adequate information about the impact of the new software ‘or any means of restoring the original functionality of the products’.

The controversial iPhone throttling practice is also being investigated by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United Starts. Disgruntled consumers have leveled a bunch of lawsuits against Apple, including a complaint that seeks an unbelievable $999 billion in damages.

Apple claims it has implemented CPU throttling in iOS 10.2.1, but the company certainly did fail to communicate such an important feature addition to its loyal customers. Apple claims throttling kicks into action when the battery has lost its ability to provide peak power or has become worn-out after a certain number of full charge and discharge cycles.

When the battery cannot supply peak current demands, the device might unexpectedly shut down. Apple also extended the CPU throttling feature to newer devices, such as iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plans to add support for other products in the future.

iPhone teardown image courtesy of