Apple fined for slowing down old iPhones

Apple fined for slowing down old iPhones

Apple was fined € 25 million (£ 21 million, $ 27 million) for deliberately slowing down older iPhone models without explaining this to consumers.

The fine was imposed by DGCCRF, France’s competition and fraud supervision agency, which said consumers were not warned.

In 2017, Apple confirmed that it slowed down some iPhones, but said that it only extended the life of the devices.

Apple said in a statement that it solved the problem with the watchdog.

Why is Apple slowing down old iPhones?
Many customers have long suspected that Apple has slowed down the old iPhones to encourage people to upgrade when they release a new one.

In 2017, the company confirmed that some models slowed as they age, but did not encourage people to upgrade.

This said that lithium-ion batteries in devices became less able to provide peak current requirements as they became old over time.

This may lead to an unexpected iPhone shutdown to protect its electronic components.

So, the company released a software update for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE, which “smoothed out” battery performance.

The practice was confirmed after a customer shared performance tests on Reddit, suggesting that their iPhone 6S slowed significantly as they age, but suddenly accelerated again after replacing the battery.

What did the regulator say?
The French watchdog said iPhone owners "were not informed that installing iOS updates (10.2.1 and 11.2) could slow down their devices."

Under the agreement, Apple must post a notice on the French website within a month.

It says that Apple “committed a fraudulent business crime of inaction” and agreed to pay a fine.

Is Apple still slowing down old iPhones?
Yes. Since Apple confirmed this practice in 2017, it has implemented it on several more iPhones, including:

iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus
iPhone SE
iPhone 7 and 7 Plus
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus running iOS 12.1 or higher
iPhone X running iOS 12.1 or higher
iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR running iOS 13.1 or higher
This option is enabled only when the battery starts to run out, and iOS now offers users clearer information about when performance management is turned on.

“The impact of performance management on these new models may be less noticeable due to their better hardware and software,” Apple said.

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