France’s anti-fraud and consumer protection agency said that Apple has agreed to pay a $27 million USD fine in a legal settlement.
According to a new report from France24, Apple has agreed to pay the sum after failing to inform users that software updates could slow down their phones.
“When they couldn’t go back to an older version of their operating system, a lot of consumers were forced to change their batteries and even buy a new phone,” said the directorate-general for competition, consumers and fraud control (DGCCRF), which is attached to the ministry of economy.
The original scandal erupted in December 2017, when the tech giant admitted that its most recent iOS software was slowing the performance of older telephones whose battery life was deteriorating.
Critics accused the firm of surreptitiously forcing users to buy phones sooner than necessary, and the outcry forced Apple to upgrade its software and offer steep discounts on battery replacements.
“iPhone owners were not informed that installing iOS updates (10.2.1 and 11.2) could slow down their devices,” the DGCCRF anti-fraud agency said in a statement.
“This is a historic victory against scandalous ready-to-rubbish practices, for consumers as well as the environment,” Halt Planned Obsolescence co-founders Laetitia Vasseur and Samuel Sauvage said, adding that they will consider filing claims for additional damages for iPhone clients.
Apple said it welcomed the accord with the DGCCRF, which will allow it to avoid a potentially embarrassing public trial.
“Our goal has always been to create secure products appreciated by our clients, and making iPhones that last as long as possible is an important part of that.”