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Tech Giants Apple And Samsung Fined Millions For Being Engaged in Dishonest Commercial Practices

The ACGM said both companies had been fined the highest possible amount reflecting the severity of their dishonest practices

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Apple
While other players like Huawei, LG, Motorola and arch rival Apple have secured patents on foldable devices, Samsung has taken a definitive lead with a real one.

An Italian anti-trust authority on Wednesday fined tech giants Apple and Samsung in an unprecedented ruling on planned obsolescence, stating the companies had both engaged in dishonest commercial practices.

The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) fined Apple and Samsung 10 million and 5 million euros respectively ($11.41 million and $5.7 million), stating the companies had forced consumers to purchase new phones by prompting users to install software updates that resulted in the phones malfunctioning, leading many consumers to upgrade their handsets, Efe news reported.

Apple
An Apple store in Woodbridge, Virginia. (VOA)

The AGCM investigation suggested that Apple had failed to alert customers how long the lithium batteries in iPhones would last and had failed to offer useful information on how to care for them in order to boost their performance and shelf life.

Since September 2016, Apple repeatedly prompted iPhone6 customers to update the software on their phones to an operating system that had been designed for the next generation model, iPhone7, without alerting consumers that the update could lead the handsets to malfunction, the report said.

On the other hand, Samsung told owners of its Galaxy Note 4 phone to install a new version of Google’s Android operating system intended for the more recent Galaxy Note 7, but which rendered the old model sluggish.

Samsung
Samsung.

The ACGM said both companies had been fined the highest possible amount reflecting the severity of their dishonest practices.

Also Read- Panasonic Introduces AI-Enabled Smartphones

Apple acknowledged in December that it had intentionally slowed iPhones with degraded batteries through software updates to avoid sudden shutdown problems, but denied it had ever done anything to intentionally shorten the life of a product. (IANS)

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South Korean Tech Giant Samsung to Spur Innovation as Biz Challenges Rise

Samsung said earlier this week it will announce the updated schedule “in the coming weeks”, without elaborating

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samsung
To get ahead in the fast-changing tech industry, Samsung said it will expand investment in burgeoning tech segments to propel growth. Wikimedia

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong has called for senior executives to spur efforts to develop innovative technologies to tackle rising business challenges and foster new growth drivers, the company has said.

Lee, the de facto leader of the South Korean tech giant, held a meeting with senior executives of the IT and mobile division at the Suwon headquarters, south of Seoul, on Friday to discuss global strategies.

The global strategy meeting, which is held twice a year, has drawn keen attention as Samsung is faced with business challenges from the weak memory chip and handset business and uncertainties from a trade war between the US and China, Yonhap new agency reported on Sunday.

During the meeting, Lee called for the company officials to spur efforts to develop new technologies, including the 6G mobile network, blockchain and Artificial Intelligence and to expand global partnerships.

“We have to make bold investments for the future regardless of any changes in the business environment,” Lee was quoted as saying in a press release.

“No company can guarantee they will be around 10 years from now,” Lee said. “We have to have a mindset of starting new businesses, beyond resting on what we’ve achieved so far.”

samsung, tablet folded phone
The new Samsung S10 phones are displayed Feb. 20, 2019, in San Francisco. Samsung is hailing the 10th anniversary of its first smartphone with three new models that it hopes reverses a sales slump in an industry recycling the same ideas. VOA

His meeting with the handset division executives came two weeks after having a separate gathering with senior officials of the semiconductor and display business as the company was assessing the ripple effect from the US decision to put a ban on Chinese tech giant Huawei.

The world’s largest smartphone maker has grappled with slowing growth in the premium smartphone market, while losing a market share in the low-end and mid-tier segment to cost-effective Chinese makers.

According to industry tracker Strategy Analytics, Samsung shipped 71.8 million units of smartphones, or 21.7 per cent of the total, in the January-March period, with its market share falling 8 per cent from a year earlier.

Also Read- TikTok Launches ‘Device Management’ Feature for Safety of Users in India

Although the company tried to boost demand in the high-end market with its Galaxy Fold priced at $1,950, its April launch schedule has been constantly pushed back without further notice over durability issues.

Early reviewers pointed out that the device’s protective screen layer was easy to peel off and gaps made it easy for debris to damage the foldable display. Samsung said earlier this week it will announce the updated schedule “in the coming weeks”, without elaborating. (IANS)