Apple has been hit with a 25 million euro fine by a French consumer fraud organization due to its intentional slowing down of some older iPhone models via an iOS update.
The Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud (DGCCRF), ruled that Apple had failed to tell owners of older iPhones that an iOS update could affect their devices’ performance.
The DGCCRF press release:
“Following an investigation by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud (DGCCRF) and after the agreement of the Public Prosecutor of Paris, the Apple group agreed to pay a fine of 25 M € in the context of a criminal transaction.
“Seized on January 5, 2018 by the Paris Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the complaint of an association against Apple, the DGCCRF has shown that iPhone owners were not informed that the updates of the iOS operating system (10.2.1 and 11.2) they installed were likely to slow down the operation of their device.
“These updates, released during 2017, included a dynamic power management device which, under certain conditions and especially when the batteries were old, could slow down the functioning of the iPhone 6, SE models. and 7.”
Apple admitted in 2017 that it slows down older iPhones with degraded batteries during times of peak power usage to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
Apple soon apologized for not clearly communicating the move to iPhone owners, and even offered low-priced battery replacements to owners of the older devices. However, the Cupertino company has always maintained that the features are designed to preserve the life of an iPhone for as long as possible. Apple maintains the move was not intended to force owners of older devices to upgrade to a newer model.
Apple has agreed with France’s public prosecutor to pay the 25 million euro fine and to publish a press release on its website for one month.