Apple fined £21m for deliberately slowing down older iPhones

French competition watchdog accuses company of 'deceptive commercial practice'

Tom Embury-Dennis
Saturday 08 February 2020 16:15 GMT
Apple in 2017 apologised over issue
Apple in 2017 apologised over issue (Getty)

Apple has been fined €25 million (£21m) for secretly slowing down older iPhones.

The penalty was imposed by France’s competition and fraud watchdog, which found customers were not warned about the measure.

iPhone users, the watchdog DGCCRF said, "were not informed that installing iOS updates (10.2.1 and 11.2) could slow down their devices".

Apple, which in 2017 admitted to the practice, said it had resolved the issue with the regulator.

As well as the fine, imposed for “the crime of deceptive commercial practice by omission”, the company will also display a notice about the issue on its French-language website for a month.

Last year, Apple promised to be more upfront with its users over slowing down their phones. It said the measure was to prolong the life of its devices, rather than to encourage customers to buy a newer model.

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The issue has been a common complaint every time Apple releases a new version of its iOS operating system. The firm in 2017 apologised and added a feature which enabled users to switch off the performance management tool.

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."

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