Apple Forced to Add Notice About iPhone Slowdown Saga on Italian Homepage

Last year, the Italian Competition Authority hit Apple with a 10 million euro fine over "dishonest commercial practices" related to an iPhone performance management system it introduced in iOS 10.2.1 without informing customers. The antitrust watchdog said the update was a form of planned obsolescence.


As a result of the investigation, Apple has been forced to add a consumer protection notice about these "incorrect" practices on its Italian homepage. The notice, loosely translated below, was spotted by setteBIT on Twitter.

Apple, Apple Distribution International, Apple Italia, and Apple Retail Italia have led consumers in possession of an ‌iPhone‌ 6, ‌iPhone‌ 6 Plus, ‌iPhone‌ 6s Plus, or ‌iPhone‌ 6s Plus to install iOS 10 and subsequent updates without providing adequate information about the impact of that choice on the performance of the smartphones and without offering (in a timely manner) any means of restoring the original functionality of the devices in the event of a proven decrease in performance following the update (such as downgrading or a battery replacement at reasonable costs).

This practice was assessed incorrect, pursuant to Articles 20, 21, 22, and 24 of Legislative Decree No. 206 of the Italian Consumer Code by the Italian Competition Authority.

For those who need a refresher about the ‌iPhone‌ slowdown saga, read our lengthy FAQ. Here's a key excerpt:

Why is Apple slowing down some older ‌iPhone‌ models?

iPhones, like many other consumer electronics, are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have a limited lifespan. As the battery in your ‌iPhone‌ ages, its ability to hold a charge slowly diminishes.

A chemically aging battery can also have increased impedance, reducing its ability to provide a sudden burst of power when demanded by other components in an ‌iPhone‌, such as the CPU and GPU. A battery's impedance will also temporarily increase when it has a low charge and/or in cold temperatures.

A battery with a high enough impedance may be unable to provide power quickly enough to the ‌iPhone‌ when needed, and Apple safeguards components against the drop in voltage by shutting down the device.

Apple recognized that iPhones unexpectedly shutting down on users is not a good experience, and starting with iOS 10.2.1, it quietly implemented a power management feature to prevent these shutdowns.

Last year, Apple denied any kind of planned obsolescence by flat out stating that it never has and never would do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience, to drive customer upgrades.

We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.

Apple eventually eased concerns by introducing a Battery Health feature in iOS 11.3, with an option to disable the performance management system, and discounting the price of iPhone battery replacements throughout 2018.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
20 months ago


iPhones, like many other consumer electronics, are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have a limited lifespan.

Then why is it not user replaceable?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 months ago
A better question would have been, why didn't you warn customer before slowing down phones?

While there's nothing wrong with why they slowed iPhones down (and understandable) people would have been happier if warned, AND instructed on how to make it perform great again, instead of led to believe a new phone was the answer.

it quietly implemented a power management feature to prevent these shutdowns.

Understatement of the year!
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 months ago
Tell customers what you're doing and why you're doing it... before you do it. Had Apple done that, this article and the overall problem wouldn't exist. But they didn't. So here we are.

Should have asked for permission instead of forgiveness.;)
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 months ago
Apple: We have never -- and would never -- do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.

Also Apple: ...nor did we advise customers that changing the battery would restore performance.

The intent was the same.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 months ago

We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product

Then why is it that my mid-2009 MacBook pro couldn't run Sierra / High Sierra, yet the MacBook released sometime after with basically identical hardware can...

They also don't offer drivers for my MacBook Pro that are compatible with Windows 10 either...

I know it's old hardware, but at the time they actively decided to stop supporting it even though a similar non-pro version was still actively supported.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
20 months ago

Then why is it not user replaceable?

Because Apple is Green and environmentally friendly. There is no reason to throw that perfectly good phone with a bad battery away because it is slow and buy a new phone faster phone with a good battery.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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