Samsung has refuted claims from an Italian antitrust body that it deliberately throttles its devices through software updates. The company says that it’s willing to further clarify the issue if necessary, and an investigation is reportedly ongoing. It all started fairly recently, when Apple revealed that it has been slowing down the performance of older iPhones on purpose, in order to protect aging batteries and avoid sudden shutdowns. The disclosure stirred great controversy and was seen as a ploy to prompt users to upgrade because their older devices were no longer performing as they should. At the same time, Apple’s reveal also made people wonder whether other device makers resorted to similar actions. A number of Android device makers said they do not engage in such practices, but the Italian Authority for Market and Competition says that Samsung taken similar actions.
The Italian authority alleged that Samsung has also been throttling its devices through software updates, without informing users that those updates could take a toll on their devices’ performance. The group is currently investigating both Apple and Samsung, aiming to determine whether the two dominant smartphone players have been using similar means to mislead consumers. The antitrust body alleges that both Samsung and Apple should have offered more information regarding the potential effects of their software updates, warning users that installing the updates could slow down their devices. Deliberately using software updates to throttle devices and influence people to upgrade to new ones would violate several articles of the consumer protection code in Italy.
Samsung is denying the claims and says that it’s willing to fully cooperate with the authority to prove it and shed light on the matter. The company is refuting any allegations of planned obsolescence and vows that it doesn’t interfere with the performance of its devices over their life cycle. This marks the first time that the South Korean OEM has faced such allegations, and it might affect its Galaxy S9 unveiling in February, at Mobile World Congress. It remains to be seen how the investigation will unfold, and whether other probes will follow in other markets as this is what happened with Apple.