Daisy, Apple’s New Recycling Robot. Credit: Apple

If you have ever found that after the new release of a new model, your phone suddenly starts to slow, we can now confirm it’s not your imagination. According to a report released by The Guardianboth Apple and Samsung have been fined following an Italian investigation for the “planned obsolescence” of their smartphones.

Fined €10 and €5 million respectively, a months-long inquiry by the country’s competition authority found that selected smartphone software updates had a negative effect on the performance of the devices. By doing this, it has encouraged consumers to upgrade to the latest devices, therefore diminishing the longevity of the previous technology. While it’s not only a bid to increase their bottom line, the issue is also a concern for the environment with an increase of tech waste entering landfill – if not disposed correctly.

In a statement the watchdog stated, “Apple and Samsung implemented dishonest commercial practices” and that operating system updates “caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced performance, thus accelerating phones’ substitution”.

The updates in question include Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 when they told its users to update to a more recent update intended for new phones – therefore making its predecessors sluggish and slow. Likewise, Apple had iPhone 6 users update its software to an operating system designed for iPhone 7.

Both tech giants were fined a maximum of €5 million euros each, with Apple fined an extra €5 million euros for failing to, “give customers clear information about “essential” characteristics of lithium batteries, including their average life expectancy, how to maintain them or eventually replace them in the firm’s iPhones.”

Apple later apologised over the incident, stating its upgrades were intended to prevent sudden shutdowns and has now decreased the cost of battery replacements.

For more information on the investigation, read the original article here.

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