Wed Feb 26 2020
It was reported this week that the French Consumer Watchdog has fined Tech Giant Apple €25 million (or around £21 million sterling) for deliberately slowing down older iPhone devices.
Apple had previously admitted to this and apologised for not telling iPhone users.
Knowledge of Apple’s practise for deliberately slowing older model iPhones first emerged back in 2017 when it was discovered software updates contained code to limit older models performance, vindicating long held suspicions by users to this effect.
Apple released a statement in December of 2017 to confirm this but also stated it had been slowing older devices to ‘protect’ them.
As a phones battery ages, newer software updates designed for faster models could put additional strain on older batteries or even cause phones to re-start unexpectedly (or so Apple claimed). Theoretically, Apple stated, slowing older models should increase the life expectancy of the phones battery and make performance more stable for its customers.
No matter who’s right, Apple or the conspiracy theorists, France's Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) decided that Apple’s lack of transparency in this matter was unacceptable and breached their guidelines.
The DGCCRF felt iPhone users hadn’t been informed that software updates to the iOS operating system (10.2.1 and 11.2) they installed would slow down their phone and so Apple had...
"committed the crime of deceptive commercial practice by omission".
...resulting in the €25 million being levied.
In the wake of the fine Apple has continued its policy of applying performance inhibitors to older iPhone models as their batteries age, with 2018's iPhone XS, XS Max and XR being the latest to have the setting applied but performance should only be affected if Apple's software detects a concerning pattern of heat, battery discharge or impedance.
If you’re still concerned for your phone’s performance, as of the iOS 11.3 update an option in all iPhone settings has appeared that shows the health of the battery and if performance has been deliberately slowed due to age and allows users to reverse the process if they choose.
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Wed Feb 26 2020