Investigations into Apple's iPhone Battery Slowdowns Spread to Italy and South Korea

by

Italy and South Korea on Thursday joined a growing list of countries in which class-action lawsuits and government investigations into Apple's iPhone battery slowdowns are underway.

Italy's antitrust body revealed it had opened a probe into allegations that Apple used iOS updates to slow older smartphones and push clients into buying new models (via Reuters). The Italian watchdog said Apple had failed to inform customers that the updates might have a negative impact on the performance of their phones, suggesting the company might have infringed four separate articles of the national consumers' code.


In a first among the recent wave of battery probes, Samsung is also suspected of orchestrating "a general commercial policy taking advantage of the lack of certain components to curb the performance times of their products and induce consumers to buy new versions," said the Italian watchdog. If found guilty, the two companies risk multi-million euro fines.

Meanwhile, a South Korean consumer group has filed a criminal complaint against Apple CEO Tim Cook, accusing his company of defrauding iPhone users by slowing down devices without warning to compensate for poor battery performance.

In its complaint, filed Thursday, the advocacy group Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty accused Apple of destruction of property and fraud. According to Reuters, the group also represents around 120 plaintiffs in a civil damage suit filed against Apple earlier in January.

Apple has already admitted that it slows down some older iPhones with degraded batteries during times of peak power usage in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns, and accepts that it should have provided a clearer explanation when it introduced the power management feature in iOS 10.2.1.

Following an apology, Apple has implemented a battery replacement program that allows all customers with an iPhone 6, 6s, 7, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7 Plus, and SE to replace their batteries for a reduced fee through the end of 2018.

Apple has also said it is introducing better battery monitoring features in a future iOS update, which will include the ability for customers to turn off the power management feature it introduced in iOS 10.2.1. However, despite efforts to rectify the issue, the company is now facing lawsuits, state investigations, or consumer group probes in countries including China, France, and the U.S. over the controversy.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
32 months ago

What is there to investigate? Apple said the slowdowns are to prevent random shutdowns which occurred on iOS 10-10.2. Everything is cleared up.

Not to mention we'll be getting a toggle to turn off throttling on iOS 11.3. Just drop this already.

The sole fact that this "has been cleared up" AFTER investigation started should tell you something, and the Toggle we will be getting, is a consequences of that, so for me, long lives this kind of things, they will help getting a better product.

Had Apple been honest and upfront from the beginning we would not have needed this kind of actions.

EDIT:
Apple was also saying that they weren't slowing iPhones down, we all know how that went. Don't believe everything a Company (any company) tells you.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago

How shocking - Italy (arguably a hotbed for corruption if history is anything to go by so hardly the most saintly of administrations) probes both Apple and Samsung, yet South Korea conveniently just focus's on Apple.

Go figure! :rolleyes:

Are you an American? Every time another country is mentioned Americans seem to start dissing other countries, it’s getting really annoying. What Apple did with slowing down phones was wrong and other countries are going to investigate this issue!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
This post is just sad. Start a rant against each country why don’t you!

Countries have every right to investigate this.

Why do you take it so personally?

How shocking - Italy (arguably a hotbed for corruption if history is anything to go by so hardly the most saintly of administrations) probes both Apple and Samsung, yet South Korea conveniently just focus's on Apple.

Go figure! :rolleyes:

Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago

Sadly for you, I'm not, I'm a Brit. But way to go in slamming the yanks.

And what Apple did was just fine according the the EULA, at least in the United States where the EULA was drafted and where a lot of whiners come from whining that their out-of-warranty device is apparently out-of-warranty.

You may find my post annoying; meanwhile I find all the whining crybabies out there who apparently feel that Apple needs to give them freebies and want to sue them as a result (45 class-action lawsuits last I remember) to be equally as annoying.

I was not slamming “the yanks”. I just noticed a lot of Americans posting negative stuff when another country is mentioned, so I figured you could be an American, but considering the UK’s view of EU lately I can add you guys to the list as well :D:p

I haven’t noticed people wanting freebies. When I buy an Apple product I want that product to work as advertised for 24 months with normal use. Is that too much to ask for?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago

My bet is most people didn't even care or realise it was happening and even when Apple updates iOS to allow users to make the choice, most will take a longer battery life over more power and an unstable phone.

Some people did notice their phones getting slower but a lot of MR members didn't believe them.

10.3.x deliberate slow down (https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/10-3-x-deliberate-slow-down.2041133/)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago

Bankrupt countries want a few billion pieces of the Apple pie.

Maybe some countries want to investigate this issue further to see if Apple violated consumer rights in those countries?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Sizes Compared with iPhone SE, 7, 8, SE 2, X, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max [Update]

Tuesday July 7, 2020 6:49 pm PDT by
Apple is planning on launching the iPhone 12 this fall which is rumored to be coming in 3 different sizes: 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7". The middle size (6.1") matches up with the currently shipping iPhone 11, but the other two sizes will be entirely new. Over the weekend, there was some excitement about how well the new 5.4" iPhone 12 compares to the original iPhone SE. Those who have been hoping...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 2: New Calendar Icon, Files Widget and More

Tuesday July 7, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 14 to developers for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features that are coming in the update. Below, we've rounded up all of the changes that we found in the second beta. - Calendar icon - There's a new Calendar app icon in iOS 14 beta 2, with the day of the week abbreviated rather than spelled out. - Clock icon - The clock...

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

Analyst Believes iPhone 12 Pricing Will Start $50 Higher Even Without EarPods or Charger in Box

Wednesday July 8, 2020 9:35 am PDT by
Despite multiple reports indicating that Apple will not include EarPods or a wall charger with iPhone 12 models this year, one analyst believes that pricing will still increase slightly compared to the iPhone 11 lineup. In a research note provided to MacRumors, analyst Jeff Pu forecasted that iPhone 12 pricing will start at $749 for a new 5.4-inch model, an increase of $50 over the base...

Apple Seeds First Betas of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 to Public Beta Testers

Thursday July 9, 2020 10:14 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group, two weeks after first providing the updates to developers after the WWDC keynote and a day after seeding the second developer betas. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS/‌iPadOS‌ 14 updates over the air after installing ...

14-Inch MacBook Pro With Mini-LED Display Expected to Enter Production in 2021

Wednesday July 8, 2020 7:51 am PDT by
Apple suppliers will begin competing to win manufacturing orders for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Mini-LED displays in the first quarter of 2021, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. Rumors of a 14-inch MacBook Pro have surfaced since Apple replaced the 15-inch MacBook Pro with a new 16-inch model last year. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has previously said that...

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 Pro' to Come With 6GB of RAM

Friday July 10, 2020 1:59 am PDT by
Later this year, Apple is expected to release four OLED iPhones in three display sizes, including 5.4, 6.7, and two 6.1-inch models. Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end devices, and now leaker @L0vetodream has corroborated previous rumors about the internal specs of Apple's upcoming lineup. Rumors suggest Apple will use 5-nanometer A14 chips in its...

Developer's Visual Comparison of macOS Catalina and Big Sur Offers Closer Look at Apple's UI Redesign for Macs

Tuesday July 7, 2020 4:00 am PDT by
macOS 11 Big Sur is the next major release of Apple's operating system for Mac, and following its preview at WWDC, one of the biggest discussions has revolved around the all-new user interface redesign. Developers are still learning what the impact the new UI will have on their apps, and with that in mind, app designer Andrew Denty has compiled an extensive visual comparison of the user...

Apple's Arm-Based Macs With Apple Silicon Chips Will Support Thunderbolt

Wednesday July 8, 2020 3:14 pm PDT by
Apple is working on Macs that use its custom Apple-designed Apple Silicon chips instead of Intel chips, but Apple has committed to continuing to support Thunderbolt, reports The Verge. In a statement, an Apple spokesperson said that Apple's upcoming machines will offer support for Intel's Thunderbolt USB-C standard. "Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop...

Kuo: Apple Silicon Macs to Include 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air This Year, 14.1-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro Models Next Year

Friday July 10, 2020 2:58 am PDT by
At last month's WWDC, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown Apple Silicon chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first Apple Silicon Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch...