Apple fined over Rs 178 crore for slowing down older phones

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Apple had confirmed back in 2017 that it was indirectly slowing down older iPhones. Now, France’s competition and fraud watchdog, the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud (DGCCRF) has imposed a fine of 25 million euros or $27 million (about Rs 1,78,79,00,000) on the company.

The fine was imposed because Apple’s older iPhone users were not informed about the potential slowdown that future updates would eventually cause to the phone. The report mentioned that the Lithium-ion batteries used in iPhones are incapable of delivering peak current demands in cold conditions.

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Moreover, the phones can hold a lower amount of charge as they age over time. This was apparently causing iPhones to shut down automatically every now and then. The ‘slowing down’ was a result of a power management system that Apple added in iOS to prevent this from happening.

Which Apple iPhones were affected?

Apple brought the feature to several of its phones. The iPhone 6, iPhone 7 and the compact iPhone SE were the affected models. The DGCCRF stated that the iOS updates (version 10.2.1 and 11.2) included the ‘dynamic power management’ feature that would certain conditions, slow down the performance of older phones like the iPhone 6, 7 and SE.

Apple has since, been accused of similarly slowing down the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus. However, there is a way to turn the feature off. Head into the phone’s settings and go to Battery > Battery Health and scroll to Peak Performance Capability. Here you should see a toggle to disable the feature.

The update would also leave users unable to return to older versions of the operating system. Many consumers would hence be forced to change the battery of their phones, or, buy a new device entirely. Apple has accepted the agreement to pay the $25 million fine. Further, Apple will also publish a press release on its French website for one month.




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