Published in Mobiles

Apple makes a slow-down pledge

by on23 May 2019


If our update makes your phone worse, we will tell you

A UK consumer watchdog has growled until Apple has agreed to notify consumers if future iOS software updates slow down or change the performance of an iPhone.

The pledge comes after the UK  Competition and Markets Authority investigated in early 2018 after Apple was caught deliberately slowing down processor speeds through a software update on some iPhones to extend battery life.

Public pressure stemming from the revelation forced Apple to provide discounted $29 battery replacements that were cited by the company as one reason iPhone sales last holiday quarter were slower than expected.

That programme has ended along with the hope that Apple would never do that sort of thing again.

Apple acknowledged the issue after a benchmark software developer posted statistics to Reddit showing significant performance differences between software versions, sparking an avalanche of media coverage.

Apple has already set aside money to pay for class-action lawsuits that accuse it of intentionally shortening the life of products to drive customer upgrades.

“To ensure compliance with consumer law Apple has formally agreed to improve the information it provides to people about the battery health of their phones and the impact performance management software may have on their phones”, the UK government said on its website.

The CMA said that Apple is legally required to tell consumers about the software and battery health, something the company was already doing through the software on the iPhone as well as a letter on its website.

“Apple believes that its iPhones were not defective, that the performance management feature introduced with iOS updates 10.2.1 and 11.2 was intended to, and did, improve customers’ user experience, and that the company did not make any misleading statements or fail to disclose any material information”, Apple said in a February SEC filing. “The company has accrued its best estimate for the ultimate resolution of these matters.”

Last modified on 23 May 2019
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