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

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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

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35 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
35 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
35 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
35 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
35 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
35 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)

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