A “deceptive business practice by default”.
This is how a French regulator defined Apple’s practice of deliberately slowing down its older phones for which it imposed a millionaire fine.
The American firm was fined with 25 million euros (about US $ 27 million) by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Prevention of France (DGCCRF).
Apple recognized in 2017 that slowed down some models ancient iPhone, although he assured that this was done in order to “extend the useful life” of the devices.
But the DGCCRF determined that consumers they were not warned of that movement.
The California firm stated in a statement that it reached an agreement on the sanction with that body of the French government.
Why does Apple slow down old iPhones?
The fact that over time iPhone phones slow down led many of its users, for a few years, to suspect that Apple was applying a slowdown to make people change it for a newer one.
Given the constant signals, three years ago the company confirmed that there was a slower performance of some models as they got older but He rejected that it was to get customers to buy a newer model.
The firm noted that the lithium-ion batteries in the devices became less capable of meeting peak power demands as time passed.
That could cause an iPhone to shut down unexpectedly to protect your electronic components.
It then released a software update for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE that “smoothed out” battery performance.
The practice was confirmed after a customer shared benchmarks on Reddit, suggesting that their iPhone 6S had slowed down considerably as it aged.
But it suddenly sped up again after the battery was replaced.
What did the regulator say?
The French DGCCRF said that iPhone owners “they were not informed that installing iOS updates (10.2.1 and 11.2) could slow down your devices. “
As part of the agreement, Apple must display a notice on its website in French for one month.
Apple “committed the crime of deceptive business practice by default“and agreed to pay the fine, according to the French body.
Is Apple still doing it?
Yes, Apple continues to apply software updates that slow down some iPhone models.
Since Apple confirmed the practice in 2017, it has been implemented on several more iPhones, including:
- iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 7 y 7 Plus
- iPhone 8 and 8 Plus with iOS 12.1 or higher
- iPhone X with iOS 12.1 or higher
- iPhone XS, XS Max y XR con iOS 13.1 o superior
The setting is only enabled when the battery begins to degrade and iOS now offers clearer information to consumers about when performance management was activated.
“The performance management effects on these newer models may be less noticeable due to their more advanced hardware and software design,” Apple said.
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