The Tar of Lazio confirmed the fine of 10 million euros imposed on Apple in 2018 by the Antitrust Authority for what the Altroconsumo association defines “premature obsolescence“, which is the practice of knowingly undermining the experience of using a device to induce the transition to a newer product. Many of you know it better as”planned obsolescence“. The court recognized the practice as “aggressive towards consumers”. Apple had already paid the due in November 2018, but had still filed an appeal.
The story concerns the iPhone 6 / 6s, the respective Plus variants and the transition to iOS 10, operating system developed for the iPhone 7. Apple, at the time, did not adequately inform the users of the devices “of the higher energy demands of the new operating system and of the possible consequences due to the installation, such as the inconvenience of the sudden shutdowns“explains the Consumer Protection Association. To fix the situation, Apple introduced the iOS 10.2.1 update in February 2017, omitting however that “the installation would have reduced the response speed and, consequently, also the functionality of the devices”.
“Only in December 2017, therefore, after consumers had clashed abundantly with the operational problems not covered by the legal guarantee, Apple decided to replace batteries at a discounted price. As if that were not enough, according to what was communicated by the Authority, Apple would not have provided consumers with adequate information on some essential characteristics of lithium batteries, such as information regarding their average life and deterioration “.
Samsung was also sanctioned by the Guarantor for a similar reason with € 5 million. At the heart of the controversy is the Galaxy Note 4 and the move to Android Marshmallow, which entailed serious problems for the owners of the device.