Feb 7, 2020

France Fines Apple 25 Million Euros For The Slowdown Of Older iPhones

Apple was fined EUR 25 million for a complaint filed by the French consumer anti-fraud organization because it had intentionally slowed down some iPhone models via iOS software updates.


The Directorate-General for Consumer Consumption and Anti-Fraud (DGCCRF) under the French Ministry of Economic Affairs concluded that Apple had not informed users that iOS updates for older iPhones may slow down their devices. Here is a translated version of the press release regarding to the complaint:
Following an investigation by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Enforcement (DGCCRF) and after agreement of the Prosecutor of the Republic of Paris, Apple has agreed to pay a fine of 25 million euros in connection with a transaction fee.

Seized on 5 January 2018 by the Paris Prosecutor's Office to investigate an association's complaint against Apple, the DGCCRF showed that iPhone owners had not been informed that the iOS operating system updates (10.2.1 and 11.2) they were installing were likely to lead to a slowdown in the operation of their device. These updates, released in 2017, included a dynamic power management device that could, under certain conditions and especially when the batteries were old, slow down the operation of the models iPhone 6, SE and 7. Unable to return to the previous version of the operating system, many consumers would have been forced to change their battery or even buy a new phone.

The National Investigation Service of the DGCCRF therefore forwarded to the Paris Prosecutor's Office in 2019 the findings of its investigations, finding that this lack of consumer information constituted a deceptive commercial practice by omission. With the agreement of the Public Prosecutor, it was proposed to the Apple Group - which accepted it - a transaction including the payment of the sum of 25 million euros and the publication, for a month, of a press release on its website.
The fine came after Apple acknowledged in 2017 that it had slowed the battery performance of certain older iPhones during peak power periods to prevent accidental shutdowns. Apple apologized for the lack of communication and provided the affected customers with cheap iPhone battery replacement services. Nevertheless, Apple has always maintained that these features are developed to extend the life of the iPhone as long as possible without a compulsory replacement.

Image Via BGR

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