Spanish consumer group OCU demands Apple compensate users for slowing down iPhones

iPhone 12 Pro review
iPhone 12 Pro review (Image credit: Daniel Bader / iMore)

What you need to know

  • A Spanish consumer group has written to Apple to demand compensation for users whose iPhones were slowed down by recent software updates.
  • It's claimed that iOS 14.5, 14.5.1, and 14.6 slowed down iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone 8, and iPhone XS devices.

Apple is once again being accused of slowing iPhones down, this time by a Spanish consumer group. It accuses Apple of slowing iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone 8, and iPhone XS devices via the iOS 14.5, 14.5.1, and 14.6 updates.

According to the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) Apple needs to "justify the lack of performance of recent iPhone models following iOS updates." The letter was first reported by iPhoneros.

The group has joined with three others to ask Apple to explain what's going on following "numerous media" reports of devices being slowed down following software update installation. Reports of poor battery life are also mentioned throughout.

Via machine translation:

On July 9, OCU, together with Altroconsumo, Deco Proteste, and Test-Achats, sent a letter to Apple asking the company to explain the published reports on the lack of performance experienced by users of the Iphones 12, 11, 8 series. and XS after IOS 14.5, 14.5.1 14.6 updates. These updates have significantly damaged consumer devices, causing their processing speed to drop dramatically and the battery draining faster, reports numerous media outlets, both tech and non-tech.

The outfit also says that it expects Apple to "establish the best way to compensate consumers." The OCU goes on to say that it believes that the slowing down of devices not only impacts customers, but the environment as well.

OCU believes that excessively rapid wear and tear on iPhones following Apple-driven updates is not only unfair to consumers, but also harms the environment. In OCU's view, consumers want to be treated with respect and expect Apple to deliver quality and sustainability.

Apple has been accused of slowing older devices before and it did indeed cause some iPhones to perform more slowly so as to avoid them shutting down due to poor battery health. In that instance, Apple was concerned that older batteries would not be able to deliver enough power when iPhones ran at full speed. Its fix was to throttle iPhones to prevent their batteries from giving out — something it made a hash of communicating to users.

Anyone with an older iPhone should probably consider replacing its battery as a matter of course. There are some great iPhone deals to be had if you know where to look!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.