Apple promises to always warn users before throttling iPhone performance

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2018 iPhone
Apple committed to transparency on the effects of iOS updates to iPhone performance.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple signed an agreement with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that it will be “clearer and more upfront” about how changes made in iOS updates will affect the performance and battery lives of current and future iPhones.

Throttlegate? Nah.

This is a result of a decision made by Apple several years ago to quietly throttle the performance of older handsets. In 2017, the company admitted that it was surreptitiously slowing down aging iPhone models, claiming it was doing so because otherwise the devices could crash when their processor required more power than their nearly worn out batteries could deliver.

The UK government agency said today in a statement “The CMA became concerned that people might have tried to repair their phone or replace it because they weren’t aware the software update had caused the handset to slow down.”

Apple promises to not do it again

In 2018, an iOS update ended automatically throttling older devices, but it gives users of these iPhones the option to do so themselves, especially if their handset crashes because its battery is getting old.

And the CMA points out, “Today’s announcement locks the firm into formal commitments always to notify people when issuing a planned software update if it is expected to materially change the impact of performance management on their phones.” The UK agency warns that it “may take action through the courts” if it ever finds the iPhone maker in breach of this agreement.