Apple fined $27.4 million for slowing down iPhones without telling users
France’s competition watchdog DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud) has announced that Apple will pay a fine due to the iOS update that has capped performance of aging devices.
'Apple slows down iPhones' is not new meme fodder in the smartphone universe. But it has reared up again and this time with a $24.7 million (25 million euros) fine.
France's competition watchdog DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud) has announced that Apple will pay a fine due to the iOS update that has capped performance of aging devices.
Apple will also have to display a statement on their website for a month.
This entire thing stems from an update Apple released in 2017 for iOS - 10.2.1 and 11.2 - that brought in a new feature for their old devices. If the battery on the iPhone was getting old, the iOS would cap peak performances since the battery would not be able to handle quick peaks of power draw. This was to avoid your iPhone from shutting down abruptly as a result of those peaks.
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While this feature made sense, Apple did not inform users that the new update was also capping the performance on some of the devices and slowing them down. This was spotted most on the iPhone 6, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 models.
Apple apologised and introduced a new software called Battery Health that let users check the maximum battery capacity and if the iPhone could reach peak performance.
Many users noticed that their phone was getting slower when they would play a game or do something intensive on the device. They were not aware of the fact that just replacing the battery on their iPhone would fix the issue and therefore many went ahead and bought new phones even though their old devices were working fine.
DGCCRF noted that there was no way that iPhone users could downgrade to the previous version of the iOS so there was no way to remove the performance capping feature.
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"Failing to inform consumers represented a misleading business practice using omission," the French authority wrote.
This is basically Apple being sneaky so as iPhone users would just buy the newer models instead of just replacing the battery on their old phones. Also, they were not aware of the fact that changing the battery would fix the slowdown issue since Apple remained quiet about it.
Apple has accepted to settle by paying the 25 million euro fine and recognising its wrongdoing with a statement on its website.
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