Apple has agreed to pay a 25 million euro fine (about $27 million) in a case brought by French regulators concerning the now widely known — and widely derided — practice of using software updates to slow down older iPhones and push people to buy newer models.
France's Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) announced Friday that Apple would be paying the fine, and recognized that it had lied to consumers by omission when they did not inform them of how certain iOS updates would affect iPhone 6, 7, and SE models.
As part of the settlement with the DGCCRF, per the BBC, Apple has to display a message on its French language website admitting that it "committed the crime of deceptive commercial practice by omission."
Apple admitted back in late 2017 that it was indeed slowing down older phone models by way of software. But the company has spun the practice as being what's best for the consumer — degraded batteries, the company said, were less able to meet the software's demands, so the company instituted a performance-management failsafe that slowed down older models but prevented them from unexpectedly shutting down.
The performance management setting now comes on automatically when a battery begins to degrade in all iPhone models, though the company says "The effects of performance management on [our] newer models may be less noticeable due to their more advanced hardware and software design."
Previously, in October 2018, Italian regulators fined both Samsung and Apple for releasing software updates that significantly slowed down older-model phones.
And following criticism over the slow-down issue, Apple apologized and offered $29 battery replacements to any iPhone owner with a degraded battery — but that program ended on December 31, 2018.