Apple gets a French slap on the wrist for iPhone Throttlegate


7, 2020

Author Surur // in Apple, News

In 2017 Apple confirmed what many suspected, that Apple slows down iPhones with OS updates.

The story was a bit more complicated – with Apple throttling iPhones via OS updates so old (and some say poor quality) batteries lasted longer. What Apple failed to do however was tell iPhone owners that a simple battery swap could make their iPhone work as good as new, obviating the need to buy a new iPhone to regain performance.

In the end, Apple made good by offering most iPhone users $20 battery replacements for the iPhone, but this does not mean regulators were as easily satisfied.

The wheels of justice work very slowly, however, and today France’s Direction Generale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Repression des Fraudes (DGCCRF), announced that they have fined Apple €25 million for their deceptive practices, which Apple agreed to pay.

Apple was also forced to make a public statement on its website, which says:

During the month of December 2017, the public prosecutor of the Paris tribunal de grande instance received a complaint from a consumer association. This complaint relates to the Apple group, for facts which would have notably consisted in the diffusion of updates of the operating system iOS causing a slowing down of certain iPhones, without having previously informed the customers and users.
At the end of its investigation, the National Service of Investigations of the DGCCRF estimates that the Apple group committed the crime of deceptive commercial practice by omission (article L. 121-3 of the code of consumption) by not revealing to consumers and users , the presence of a dynamic power management system included in the iOS updates from version 10.2.1 and which, under certain conditions, can slow the operation of iPhones of categories 6, 7 and SE , especially those with old batteries. A crime report was sent to the public prosecutor.
With the agreement of the public prosecutor, a significant transactional fine was proposed to the company Apple Inc., which accepted it.

While the statement notes it was a significant fine, at €25 million, it is less than 1/10,000 of their 2019 revenue of $260 billion.

Europe is well known however to escalate fines when wrongdoing continues, so we hope Apple takes heed and is more open with iPhone users going forward.

Via Neowin

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