Apple Fined $11.5 Million in Italy For Throttling Performance of Older iPhones

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated June 16, 2021

Last year Apple was accused of throttling performance on its iPhones and users suggested that it was all due to “planned obsolescence.” Planned obsolescence is a practice that involves reducing performance on older hardware to bolster the sales of new products. Months after the reports surfaced, the tech giant admitted to the practice and decided to disable the ‘feature’ after claiming that they reduced performance to maintain great battery life on aging hardware.

Italy investigated the issue, and the country’s anti-trust authority has fined the manufacturer 10 million euros (USD 11.5 million). Samsung was also fined for the same reasons in the country. The anti-trust authority stated “Apple and Samsung implemented dishonest commercial practices" through operating system updates which "caused serious malfunctions and significantly reduced performance, thus accelerating phones' substitution."

Apple initially claimed that the reports of the manufacturer deploying planned obsolescence was just a crazy thought, but they were forced to backtrack and eventually stopped the practice. The tech giant was fined more than Samsung (the Korean manufacturer was fined $5.7 million) because there were no clear instructions on how to maintain or replace smartphone batteries.

The anti-trust body’s investigation revealed that Apple implemented at feature into iOS that prevented older iPhone devices from shutting down during peak power draw. The tech giant did not notify users about the feature and had to apologize later. iPhone owners are now eligible for $29 battery replacements for iPhone 6 and newer devices until the end of 2018. From 2019, all battery replacements will cost $49.

Apple also released an update with iOS 11.3 that allows users access to detailed battery health information including CPU data. Users can now see if their battery life is impacting processor performance. Italy is not the only country to sue the tech giant over its practices with other lawsuits still ongoing. There are over 60 lawsuits that the company is facing currently with pending verdicts.

What do you think about the planned obsolescence controversy? Let us know in the comments below. In case you’d like to stay on top of the latest information, don’t forget to like us on Facebook, as well as to follow us on Twitter. Thanks!

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