France’s competition watchdog DGCCRF announced that Apple will have to pay a hefty amount of $27.4 million (€25 million) fine because of an iOS update that slowed down the old devices. Apple will also have to display a statement on its website for a month.
A couple of years ago, Apple released an iOS update that introduced a new feature for older devices. If your battery is getting old, iOS would cap peak performances as your battery might not be able to handle quick peaks of power draw. The result of those peaks is that your iPhone might shut down abruptly.
While that feature is technically fine, but Apple failed to inform its users that it was actually hampering the performances on some devices. Apple apologized and also introduced a new software feature called “Battery Health,” which lets users check the maximum capacity of their battery and if their iPhone can reach peak performance.
And that’s the real issue here. Many users noticed that their phone would get slower when they play a game, for instance. But they don’t know that replacing the battery would fix that or not. Some users even bought new phones even though their existing phone was working fine.
France’s DGCCRF also notes that iPhone users can’t downgrade to a previous version of iOS, which means that they had no way to lift the performance capping feature. “Failing to inform consumers represented a misleading business practice using omission,” the French authority writes.
Apple accepted to settle by paying a €25 million ($27.4 million) fine and recognizing its wrongdoing with a statement on its website.