Apple fined 25 million euros in France for slowing down older iPhones with iOS

iOS 8
iOS 8 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has been 25 million euros fined by French authorities.
  • That's because it failed to inform users that iOS updates to older iPhones could slow down users devices.
  • Apple has previously admitted publicly that it uses performance management in iOS to prevent older phones from shutting down.

French authorities have fined Apple 25 million euros after it failed to inform users that downloading iOS on older iPhones could result in their devices slowing down.

In a press release, the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention stated:

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 € in the context of a criminal transaction.

The investigation dates back 2 years to January 2018. The Paris Prosecutor's Office began investigating complaints that Apple was slowing down iPhones through iOS updates, specifically iOS 10.2.1 and 11.2. The release states:

Seized on January 5, 2018, by the Paris Prosecutor's Office to investigate the complaint of an association against Apple, the DGCCRF has indeed shown that iPhone owners had not been 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.

It further notes that users were unable to revert to the previous version of iOS, and as a result were forced to change their batteries or even buy a new iPhone. The report states that the lack of consumer information provided by Apple "constituted a misleading commercial practice by omission."

According to the report, Apple has accepted an agreement with the public prosecutor to pay the sum of 25 million euros and to publish a press release on its website for one month.

Back in 2017, Apple published an extensive support note into iPhone performance and relation to its battery, after it emerged that Apple was indeed using performance management to prevent the unexpected shutdown of older iPhones.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9