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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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2 weeks 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?
Rating: 18 Votes
2 weeks 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!
Rating: 17 Votes
2 weeks 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.;)
Rating: 12 Votes
2 weeks 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.
Rating: 8 Votes
2 weeks 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.
Rating: 8 Votes
1 week ago

Really? So you’d rather have your phone crash regularly instead of it slowing down? Everything you own likely has some fail safes in it. Your car, etc that prevent it from taking a **** and work on reduced power when there’s a problem. If your phone felt slow, go to Genius Bar and have them tell you your battery is bad. Same way you go to a Dr or Mechenic. If something’s wrong you typically don’t just replace with new, you find out what’s wrong and determine best path forward for you. Am I happy Apple has the battery health section now? Yes, but all these whiny people over Apple trying to allow people to use their phones with bad batteries is not malicious. Now Apple knows it’s user base better and will over disclose the **** out of everything to please the minority.


For some reason... Apple fans never get the message. There were instants where genius bar employees were refusing service battery and suggest purchasing new phone. There was a gaint thread about this.

For some reason, Apple employee will refuse to replace battery if battery is above 80% capacity. Even if the cusomter insisted to pay for battery replacement, Apple store employee was refusing to service the phone.

So it is not about throttling the phone is bad, it is Apple never commuicate with its customer and its Store Employee. Some people were tricked to buy new phone when it was not necessary.
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Yes, every device does this. Windows, Mac, whatever. It's been present in MacBooks where the CPU is heavily throttled if it doesn't detect a battery, or if the battery needs to be replaced urgently. We've known about this for decades, yet somehow it's different when it comes to phones or people think it's a sneaky "Tim Crook" feature.

I wish they did it with my iPhone 5S in its later life. Nothing worse than having a tethered battery life or a phone which dies at any given time so I don't even know if my Uber request in the freezing cold in the middle of nowhere went through.

Dangerous to write the truth around here though. It doesn't fit an anti-Apple narrative.


Are you sure every device does this? Becuase my ThinkPad does not throttle my CPU one I was on battery. CPU keeps running on stock speed and sometimes will jump to its Turbo speed as well.
[doublepost=1549941065][/doublepost]

No, it isn't.

A phone with a replaceable battery is significantly thicker, heavier, and more mechanically complicated. Thus, most people will find it not only less desirable; they'll also find that it's more prone to mechanical failure.

All that just to please a very small percentage of users who want more flexibility.



No iPhone had access to the battery. No iPhone had a sliding back cover.



It's more than just thickness.


No it wasn't. Most phones with replacable battery has removable back. It wasn't some mechical part that, it is basically some latches. You can open it with your fingernails.

iPhone 4 and 4S had sliding back cover before. All you need to do was unscrew two screws on the bottom of the phone and you literaly sliding the back cover. I remember old days, there was all kind of third party back panels with all kind of colours. Some people were changing their back covers with different colours.
Rating: 4 Votes
2 weeks ago

Really? So you’d rather have your phone crash regularly instead of it slowing down? Everything you own likely has some fail safes in it. Your car, etc that prevent it from taking a **** and work on reduced power when there’s a problem. If your phone felt slow, go to Genius Bar and have them tell you your battery is bad. Same way you go to a Dr or Mechenic. If something’s wrong you typically don’t just replace with new, you find out what’s wrong and determine best path forward for you. Am I happy Apple has the battery health section now? Yes, but all these whiny people over Apple trying to allow people to use their phones with bad batteries is not malicious. Now Apple knows it’s user base better and will over disclose the **** out of everything to please the minority.



sounds like you actually haven't the clue about the timeline of events and why people are upset. hint, they're not upset over using throttling to prevent their phones from randomly rebooting.

Their upset that Apple lied to them about it, mislead them, and spent months NOT updating the Genius bar people to know what to look for, which led to Genius bar recommendations of replacing the phone instead of repairing.

I agree that the work around presented to throttle the phones was the lesser of two evils to make up for a design defect of batteries that degraded their peak power too fast (1-2 years). That is NOT the question in debate here.

Timeline of events is what made people upset.
1. People noticed their phones were slow and in an interview, Tim Cook was asked "Do you intentionally throttle old phones?". Tim outright said "NO we do not throttle devices based on their age".

2. Users were't happy with that response and did more digging. They found that yes, iPhones were being throttled.

3. Users who took their devices to Apple because of throttling, had their battery CAPACITY only checked. Devices that passed this capacity test were outright refused battery replacement services by Apple. Even if they were willing to pay. This test was erroneous as it is NOT a CAPACITY problem, but a peak load problem. Something that Apple's testing in store DID NOT test for. Leading to a LOT of people's batteries "passing" and refusal of service.

4. Apple finally after a couple months of reports admitted that they were throttling devices that had batteries that were unable to supply peak load. And that the behaviour is intentional and was rolled out in a previous iOS patch (that did not outline the throttling, only "battery management". Further misleading users.

5. After lawsuits for the throttling came in, Apple finally relented and offered a limited time only $29 battery replacement.


What should have happened is immediately when Apple identified a design flaw that would grossly negatively affect the lifespan and health of the devices in question, that they immediately offered a battery replacement programme, a trade in offer, and fully, openly announced the failure in question. This is what people are upset over. Apple's lying and lack of transparency over this issue.
Rating: 4 Votes
2 weeks ago

Thank you Apple for not telling me you were slowing down the speed of my phone to allow me to use it beyond its peak battery capabilities when the consumable battery started degrading. I much prefer to have my phone crash and restart vs just slowing it down a little bit. /sarcasm


Or… Thanks Apple for not telling me you were throttling my phone and letting me believe the phone itself was aging and needed to be replaced. I much prefer paying $800+ unnecessarily than replace a battery for ~$50.
Rating: 4 Votes
2 weeks 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.
Rating: 4 Votes
2 weeks ago

Then why is it not user replaceable?


Why are these batteries not replaceable in many devices NOT made by apple?


They used to be replaceable for a long time, I think the main advantage of having them inside the phone and not replaceable is that it needs less space, normally the battery comparement it shielded of by plastic for instance, this is most likely already a mm think.
Rating: 4 Votes

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