Samsung & LG Say They Aren't Slowing Down Old Android Phones

Samsung and LG denied slowing down their older Android smartphones with weakening batteries, Phone Arena reported Friday, citing official communications from the South Korean companies. The two tech giants were asked whether they're employing such practices after Apple admitted to doing so earlier this month, creating a major controversy that already resulted in a number of lawsuits seeking class-action status. Samsung said it doesn't resort to intentional CPU throttling because of its focus on "product quality," stating that its hardware design seeks to provide consumers with long-living batteries without resorting to negatively affecting the end user experience. LG made a similar claim and categorically stated it never employed such practices in the past nor will it in the future. "We care what our customers think," a company spokesperson said.

HTC and Motorola already made similar statements on Thursday and more original equipment manufacturers are likely to do the same in the coming weeks. Apple was caught throttling the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7 lineups by a number of users who made extensive efforts to document the declining performance of the CPUs powering their handsets. While the Cupertino, California-based phone maker already apologized for the move, it said throttling the performance of its chips was necessary for devices with rapidly degrading batteries. Once an aging battery falls beneath a certain output threshold, the voltage it's able to provide isn't enough to power a chip looking to operate at a maximum frequency, which in turn causes the handset to shut down.

Apple said slowing down its chips by reducing its potential prevents such scenarios and improves the longevity of its handsets, in addition to categorically dismissing claims of planned obsolescence practices. Replacing a heavily degraded battery with a new one removes the clock limitations and while doing so usually costs $79, Apple discounted the repair to $29 for the time being due to the backlash from the general public. The statements from the aforementioned Android OEMs suggest throttling processors of older devices isn't a standard industry practice and even if it was somewhat common so far, Apple's fallout with the public is likely to put an end to it. Many contemporary smartphones feature batteries whose capacities are much slower to decline than those of cells powering their predecessors but manufacturers still aren't committing significant resources to combating peak output voltage degradation that's at the center of the latest electronics industry controversy.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Head Editor
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]
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