A customer looks at her iPhone at an Apple store in Beijing
A customer looks at her iPhone at an Apple store in Beijing

iPhone slow? Apple promises to tell customers why their phones are sluggish

Users will be warned if a new iOS update is going to make phones run less quickly

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 23 May 2019 09:34

Apple has promised to be more upfront with its users about their iPhone's battery health and performance.

The company has formally committed to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that it will be clear with users about how their battery is impacting the speed of the phone.

It also said it would warn users if a new software update was going to make their phones run less quickly. Such an issue a common complaint every time Apple releases a new version of its iOS operating system.

The authority raised consumer law concerns with Apple last year after it said iPhone users were not being clearly warned that their phone's performance could slow down because of a software feature designed to manage battery demands.

Apple has since introduced a range of new information tools and features that explain iPhone battery life and performance, but has now formally agreed with the CMA to continue doing so.

In late 2017, the tech giant caused controversy when it confirmed it had introduced a software feature the previous year which slowed down the performance of older iPhone handsets in order to preserve battery life.

The firm apologised and last year also added a feature which enables users to switch off the performance management tool if they so choose.

At the time, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said: "Our actions were all in service of the user, I can't stress that enough. Maybe we should have been clearer at a point in time but our actions were always the purest."

Since then, Apple has also added new battery health monitoring tools to its iOS operating system, which allows users to track the health of their device's battery, and has a support page on its website which explains how the iPhone battery and performance are linked.

The CMA acknowledged the steps Apple had taken and said the company had now formally agreed to notify people when issuing a software update if it is expected to impact on the performance of their smartphone.

The announcement said Apple had formally committed to "provide easily accessible information about battery health and unexpected shutdowns, along with guidance on how iPhone users can maximise the health of their phone's battery".

The CMA said that by signing up to the agreement, Apple will now be bound by it and any breach found to have been made can lead to action through the courts.

Additional reporting by agencies

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