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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.

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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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Samsung Files a New Patent Application For 3D Displays

The Seoul-based company launched a 3D TV set in 2010 which did not reach commercial success due to the inconveniences associated with using the products

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Samsung, speaker
Samsung files new patent application for 3D displays.

Samsung has filed a new patent application at the US Patent and Trademark Office for 3D displays that users may connect to their smartphones and tablets, media reported.

These displays could exist as TV sets or monitors and show content varying from photographs and videos to 3D games. The illustrations included with the patent also show that users may forward the information presented on their smartphones to the 3D screens.

“For example, if the user is on a call, the screen can show the person that they are currently speaking to at the moment and the display can also be used to control the playback of music files that the user forwarded from their handsets,” Android Headlines reported on Friday.

The 3D display also features a 3D user interface (UI) that would allow users to interact with the device either through touch or by stylus pens.

These displays could also be sport sensors that detect user-contact with virtual objects presented by the device using infrared radiation or ultrasound waves to track how the person interacts with the content, the report added.

Samsung
Samsung.

While patents do not always result in a commercialised product, it hints towards how the South Korean giant may market 3D displays in the future.

There has been no statement from the company as of now regarding the newly-filed patent.

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The Seoul-based company launched a 3D TV set in 2010 which did not reach commercial success due to the inconveniences associated with using the products.

In November 2018, Samsung filed patents related to holographic technology that uses existing display apparatus for showing high-resolution images that the company might include in future foldable handsets. (IANS)