France slaps Apple 25mn euros fine for slowing older iPhones

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FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 15, 2019 file photo, a precinct captain from Des Moines, Iowa, holds his iPhone that shows the Iowa Democratic Party's caucus reporting app. On Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting that federal records show George Soros is the biggest funder of the failed app used by the Iowa Democratic Party during Monday’s caucuses. The chart used in the assertion does not show a donation by Soros to Shadow Inc. Instead, the chart, which was published in a November 2019 story on the investigative news site Sludge, shows Soros gave $2.6 million to the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a Democratic Party-aligned organization focused on legislative redistricting. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

ParisL: France’s consumer fraud group on Friday imposed a 25 million-euros fine on Apple for deliberately slowing down certain older iPhone models with a software update in 2017.

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, Macrumors reported.

“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 euros in the context of a criminal transaction,” the DGCCRF said in a statement.

“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,” it added.

Apple admitted in 2017 that the software update slowed down certain iPhone models with degraded batteries. The iPhone maker said that the update was necessary to prevent unexpected shutdown and preserve the life of the devices.

However, it also apologised for not communicating to users properly and offered affected customers cut-price iPhone battery replacements.

“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 DGCCRF statement said.

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