Saturday 8 February 2020 10:00 am

Apple fined for slowing down old iPhones

Apple has been fined 25m euros (£21m) for deliberating slowing down its older iPhone models and not making customers aware. 

The fine, which was imposed by France’s competition and fraud watchdog DGCCRF, was for failing to make this clear to consumers.

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Apple admitted in 2017 that it slowed down some of its iPhones but only to “prolong the life” of the devices. 

It had said it slowed down the older models as they aged, but denied doing so to encourage people to buy a new one as many had suspected. 

It said its lithium-ion batteries were less capable of supplying peak current demands the older they got. 

So it released a software update for iPhone 6, 6s, and SE, which “smoothed out” battery performance and prevented them from shutting down to protect its electronic components.

The practice was confirmed by a customer on Reddit who shared tests showing the performance of the iPhone 6s slowing down as it aged, then speeding up after the battery was replaced. 

Apple has resolved the issue with the watchdog, it said in a statement. 

The watchdog said iPhone owners “were not informed that installing iOS updates (10.2.1 and 11.2) could slow down their devices”.

Apple has also been forced to display a notice on its French-language website for a month.

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

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Apple has continued the practice on later models of its iPhone since confirming it in 2017.

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