France fines Apple for slowing down old iPhones

Published: February 8, 2020
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

France’s competition and fraud watchdog DGCCRF slapped Apple with a $27million fine for intentionally slowing the operation of older iPhones without informing customers.

The amount matches the income Apple makes in under three hours.

In 2017 Apple had confirmed that it slowed down devices but claimed it was done to “prolong the life” of the smartphone.

A statement released by the company states that the issue with the watchdog had been resolved.

Many customers believe Apple slows down the phones to encourage them to upgrade their iPhones, however, the company denied this.

In 2017, that the company acknowledged that operating system updates released for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 included a feature “to smooth out” power supply from batteries that are cold, old or low on charge.

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The lithium-ion batteries installed in the smartphone become less proficient in supplying to demands and become dated over time.

The smartphones without the adjustment would shut down abruptly because of a precaution designed to prevent components from getting fried, said Apple.

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

According to the French watchdog iPhone users “were not informed that installing iOS updates (10.2.1 and 11.2) could slow down their devices”.

As per the agreement with DGCCRF, Apple is to display a banner on its French-language website for a month.

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It says Apple “committed the crime of deceptive commercial practice by omission” and had agreed to pay the fine.

The list of iPhone devices that have been slowed down include:

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

“The effects of performance management on these newer models may be less noticeable due to their more advanced hardware and software design,” said Apple.

This article originally published on BBC Tech.

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