Apple Fined 25 Million Euros in France for Slowing Down Older iPhones With iOS Update

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Apple has been fined 25 million euros by a French consumer fraud group for intentionally slowing down some iPhone models with a software update.


The Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and the Suppression of Fraud (DGCCRF), which is part of the country's economy ministry, concluded that Apple had failed to inform users that iOS updates to older iPhones could slow down their devices.

The DGCCRF revealed its findings in a Friday 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 EUR 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."
The investigation followed Apple's admission in 2017 that it slows down some older iPhones with degraded batteries during times of peak power usage in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

When the iPhone slowdown controversy was at its height, Apple apologized for its lack of communication and offered affected customers cut-price iPhone battery replacements. The company has always maintained that the features are designed to preserve the life of the iPhone for as long as possible, and were not implemented to force upgrades.

That being said, Apple has accepted an agreement with France's public prosecutor to pay the fine of 25 million euros and to publish a press release on its website for one month.


Article Link: Apple Fined 25 Million Euros in France for Slowing Down Older iPhones With iOS Update
 

Glockworkorange

macrumors 68020
Feb 10, 2015
2,467
4,124
Chicago, Illinois
I'm CERTAIN that hurt Apple's wallet /s

What a joke.
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Good. Tim Cook deserves it. However, it's not going to teach him a lesson, as it will not even make a noticeable dent in Apple's wealth. Cook will continue to care about shareholders more than customers.
Do you think he even knows?

I could see someone else just taking care of it and not even bothering him with it.
 

e1me5

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2013
302
513
Cyprus
Funny, I knew about the “throttling” when it was first released. It was a couple of weeks after I replaced the battery because of the faulty 6S batch that was forcing them to shut down. Furthermore, I kinda thank apple for this feature as my 6s is no very old, its still usable and I don’t have to replace the battery or the phone right now but I can wait for the next iPhone in October.
 

aroom

macrumors member
Nov 26, 2014
75
153
is it planned obsolescence though? tweaking the os to be able to keep it running with an old battery seems like the opposite.

they should stop hunting unicorn and go full on for the right of repair. those soldered ssd and ram, glued battery, etc. that's the practice I like to see changed in the future.
 

Digital Skunk

macrumors 604
Dec 23, 2006
7,854
421
In my imagination
Yay! I guess. As everyone's said so far 25M is tennis shoe money for Cook. For Apple it's... I don't know, the cost of 1 day of cafeteria food.

Glad they sent the message, even if it was just a whisper.
 

BvizioN

macrumors 603
Mar 16, 2012
5,042
2,968
Manchester, UK
The fact that the fine was only $25M may be a signal that this was more a bureaucratic move than a punitive one. Apple's only fault was not warning users beforehand of the throttling.
Bingo!
France is in the EU, and the EU is the capital of bureaucracy!
 

Valkyre

macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2012
482
273
Good Guy Europe once again! Sure this fine is pennies for Apple, but nevertheless they actually DID something that "hopefully" will make apple think twice before doing something similar. Much better than doing absolutely nothing and whistle like idiots. Good thing there is Europe and actual consumer rights, because if it were US only, nothing would get done over such things... have fun paying for apple care while i get 2 years warranty.
 

urtules

macrumors 6502
Jul 30, 2010
268
256
Good Guy Europe once again! Sure this fine is pennies for Apple, but nevertheless they actually DID something that "hopefully" will make apple think twice before doing something similar. Much better than doing absolutely nothing and whistle like idiots. Good thing there is Europe and actual consumer rights, because if it were US only, nothing would get done over such things... have fun paying for apple care while i get 2 years warranty.
This is just a money grab by ineffective, untechnical government bureaucrats. Don't paint it as fight for freedom or consumer rights. They didn't understood the reasons, and jumped to a conclusion. They saw opportunity to take advantage of Apple and used it. Where Apple went mile ahead of competition, did the right thing and got punished for it. I hope Apple will continie to do the right thing and serve their customers. Apple did the right thing, while DGCCRF only cares about money.
 

Jerion

macrumors member
Mar 31, 2016
76
197
It's the equivalent of a tap on the shoulder with a serious facial expression and stern tone of voice, reminding Apple to be better technical communicators. Won't do much for their product design priorities, though.

To keep users from spending money, there was a binary choice: Have an erratic experience with an aging device that has narcolepsy, or have a more consistent experience with an aging device that moves at a more leisurely pace. Given Apple's design priorities for consumer products "Nice Experience Comes First"), the technical solution made perfect sense. (Getting a battery replacement made more sense, of course, but that kind of program is a bigger thing to get approved in the corporate world.)

This is one of those things were pop culture 'suspicion' about the idea of secret planned obsolescence made the prospect of broaching the topic - without making it a major talking point a la privacy - an uphill struggle. But they could have gotten out in front of it a lot better. Hopefully this will remind somebody about that.
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,648
3,315
Good Guy Europe once again! Sure this fine is pennies for Apple, but nevertheless they actually DID something that "hopefully" will make apple think twice before doing something similar. Much better than doing absolutely nothing and whistle like idiots. Good thing there is Europe and actual consumer rights, because if it were US only, nothing would get done over such things... have fun paying for apple care while i get 2 years warranty.
Well, absolutely. In the future, iPhones in France with an old battery will run at full speed until the battery is empty and the phone crashes. Like good phones do, like Samsung etc.
 

Krizoitz

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2003
1,096
467
Tokyo, Japan
Good. Tim Cook deserves it. However, it's not going to teach him a lesson, as it will not even make a noticeable dent in Apple's wealth. Cook will continue to care about shareholders more than customers.
Yeah, Apple should have let the phones randomly crash instead when the processor tried to draw more power than the battery could supply, THAT would have made everyone happy. 🙄
 

applepuree

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2014
372
534
OK Apple badly communicated the steps they took, but would the same people who complained about the slowdown have been happier if the iPhone just unexpectedly shut down? Somehow I doubt it.

A battery is a consumable item and degrades with usage after all.



Maybe I can sue God because I get physically slower as I age ;)
 

Valkyre

macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2012
482
273
This is just a money grab by ineffective, untechnical government bureaucrats. Don't paint it as fight for freedom or consumer rights. They didn't understood the reasons, and jumped to a conclusion. They saw opportunity to take advantage of Apple and used it. Where Apple went mile ahead of competition, did the right thing and got punished for it. I hope Apple will continie to do the right thing and serve their customers. Apple did the right thing, while DGCCRF only cares about money.
yes it was very nice of Apple throttling people's iphone without even notifying them AT ALL! It obviously is a "mile ahead of competition" thing to do! Seriously I love Apple but there are some daft people out there. If people did not complain and made a thing about it you still wouldnt have that toggle option to fix this issue. Apple said nothing about it because it suited them, because it made people give away their perfectly fine iphones to get new ones, instead of just having a battery replaced for little cost. What a "mile ahead of competition" thing to do... yes....clearly... the right thing to do if apple "really cared" would be to issue a notice and have that toggle option from the beginning. Then nobody would have any problem and that would indeed be very decent of them. But they tried to exploit the situation to make more money and sound like the good guy. Sorry but that is foul play. Either be a good guy from the get go and leave the semantics...
 

Ubuntu

macrumors 68000
Jul 3, 2005
1,791
111
UK/US
Good. Tim Cook deserves it. However, it's not going to teach him a lesson, as it will not even make a noticeable dent in Apple's wealth. Cook will continue to care about shareholders more than customers.
Like any company CEO would...? Not being an Apple apologist, this is just the way business works. I'd say the same with Steve Jobs - even though he cared more about the product I think his goal was still to make Apple as successful as can be.