France’s competition and fraud watchdog has imposed a fine of USD 27 million on Apple for intentionally slowing down the performance of older iPhone models. The fine has been imposed by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud (DGCCRF). The consumer fraud group said the tech giant did it without issuing any clarity to its consumers that iOS updates released in 2017 could slow down their smartphones. Later, the Cupertino-based company admitted that it slowed down some iPhone. However, the company said that it was done with the aim of making smartphones last longer. Apple apologized for the same and offered a discount on iPhone battery replacements. After being fined by the watchdog, the tech giant issued a statement stating that it has resolved the issue with the DGCCRF.
As part of the agreement, Apple has to display a notice for a month on its French-language website. The DGCCRF said that updates released in 2017 had a dynamic power management system that had the potential to slow down some models like iPhone 6, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 especially when the batteries were old. As there was no option to return to the previous version of the iOS, many iPhone users would have been forced to purchase a new battery or altogether buy a new phone. Interestingly, Apple has slowed down several more iPhones even after confirming the practice in 2017. The iPhones include iPhone XS, XS Max and XR (running iOS 13.1 or higher), iPhone X (running iOS 12.1 or higher), iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (running iOS 12.1 or higher), iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, iPhone SE and iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus.
The smartphone manufacturer now gives clearer details to users about performance management when it gets activated. The performance management will be less noticeable on newer models because of more advanced software and hardware. Users can check the status of their battery performance in settings. Meanwhile, Apple has reportedly started the trial production of the much-awaited small budget iPhone 9. The iPhone 9 is expected to come in as the successor to the iPhone SE. The trial production phase will be used to iron out any issues in the handset and make sure assembly lines are running smoothly. If everything goes in the planned way, the tech giant will start full mass production of the device in mid-February.