Apple fined €25 million in France for throttling iPhones via OTA updates
It was long regarded that Apple (either jokingly or not) intentionally slowed down its phones right around the time a new one came out. Just over a couple of years ago, Apple admitted that it was, in fact, slowing the performance of older iPhones, but the reasons it brought forth were somewhat reasonable.
Apple has agreed to pay the French Government €25 million in fines by the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office following its investigation of the complaint that iPhone users were not informed that iOS updates 10.2.1 and 11.2 would cause older devices to slow down. For lack of informing its customers, it constituted a “misleading commercial practice by omission.”
Customers with slow phones were forced to either buy a new iPhone or get the battery replaced to restore normal functionality, and downgrading software was not an option. In agreeance with the fine as well, Apple needs to display a publication about the
Following a downward trend in iPhone benchmarks over time, Apple admitted that it was reducing the performance of older iPhones in order to compensate for the degradation of batteries over time. Slowing the iPhones down would prevent devices with affected batteries from inadvertently rebooting from a weak/degraded battery.
Apple didn’t tell its customers what it was doing and was scrutinized by several consumer-protection bodies from different markets in which Apple operates. This prompted Apple to drop the price of its battery replacement in the US from $79 to $29 for some older iPhones including the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S.
Today, Apple still performs the practice, but it makes it explicitly clear if a phone needs to be throttled and gives customers an option in the settings to disable the feature completely.