U.S. officials probe Apple over iPhone throttling

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iPhone
Apple can't escape unhappy officials.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

U.S. officials are questioning Apple after the company admitted to throttling the performance of older iPhones.

Apple has already apologized for the practice and set up a battery replacement program in an effort to fix affected units. But that hasn’t saved the company from getting into hot water with authorities in a number of countries.

Zurich Apple Store evacuated after iPhone battery overheats

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Zurich Apple Store
50 people were forced to leave the Zurich Apple Store
Photo: Apple

The Zurich Apple Store evacuated workers and fans on Tuesday after an iPhone battery overheated.

The handset was being repaired when its battery malfunctioned, leaving one employee with minor burns and forcing around 50 people to leave the store, according to Swiss police.

France is investigating Apple over throttling iPhone speeds

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iphone 8
Apple is accused of purposely slowing older iPhones to push customers to upgrade.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

French consumer watchdog DGCCRF, part of the country’s economy ministry, is investigating Apple over its alleged deception concerning the “throttling” of older iPhone models.

French law makes it a crime to purposely shorten the lifespan of a product in order to force customers to replace it. In the event that a company is found guilty of this, it can face fines of up to five percent of its annual sales.

DJI’s new Osmo 2 gimbal makes smooth iPhone footage cheap

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Osmo 2
The Osmo 2 is insanely cheap!
Photo: DJI

CES 2018 bug Capturing super-smooth video on your iPhone is about to get a lot easier (AND cheaper) thanks to the folks at DJI.

Ahead of the opening day of CES 2018, DJI unveiled its newest handheld smartphone gimbal today called the Osmo 2. The new gimbal packs simplified controls to allow anyone to record shake-free video from their iPhone, and it’s got some new tricks you won’t find on its predecessor.

iPhone throttling lands Apple in hot water with Brazilian authorities

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iPhone battery
Brazil demands easy iPhone battery replacements.
Photo: iFixit

Apple is in trouble with Brazilian authorities for throttling the performance of older iPhones.

A state agency dedicated to tackling consumer issues has demanded that Apple explains to customers how they can obtain cheap battery replacements. Company employees have reportedly refused to sign the notification.

Battery replacement program could be bad news for iPhone sales

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iPhone battery
Brazil demands easy iPhone battery replacements.
Photo: iFixit

Apple’s iPhone battery replacement program could cause the company to lose out on millions of new iPhone sales, according to analysts at Barclays.

It was revealed last month that the company intentionally throttles CPU speeds on some iPhones with older batteries to provide an overall better experience. Apple has offered $29 battery replacements to make up for it, but that might be bad news for its bottom line.

Some Samsung Note 8 owners are experiencing battery issues

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Galaxy note
Samsung is experiencing battery-related PR issues of its own.
Photo: Samsung

Apple’s not the only smartphone manufacturer having PR issues involving its phone batteries. Some owners of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 are reporting that their handsets refuse to charge or turn on after running out of charge.

According to Samsung, this issue affects a, “very limited number of reports which could be associated with the power management circuit.”

How to squeeze the longest life from your iPhone battery

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battery
Just be thankful your iPhone doesn't run on these.
Photo: Toshiyuki IMAI/Flickr CC

Thanks to batterygate, the good news is that Apple will now switch out the battery in your old iPhone for $29 instead of $79, a price so cheap it would be crazy not to do it. But how do you take care of that new battery to stop it going bad? The truth is, the lithium ion batteries in phones and notebook computers have a finite life. But you can prolong that life with a few easy tricks.

Samsung and LG don’t throttle their phones like Apple does

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galaxy note 7
The battery might burst into flames, but at least you get a full-powered CPU.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple’s decision to throttle CPU speeds on iPhones with older batteries isn’t a feature its competition is eager to copy.

Both Samsung and LG have come out with statements today saying that none of their phones use similar power management tactics. Their claims echo other Android makers Motorola and HTC who made the same claim yesterday.

Apple apologizes with $29 iPhone battery replacements

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iPhone battery
Brazil demands easy iPhone battery replacements.
Photo: iFixit

Apple has offered iPhone customers yet another apology for intentionally slowing down the CPU on some older iPhone models in order to increase overall performance.

In a letter to customers this afternoon, Apple explained that it added a feature in iOS 10.1.2 that successfully reduced the occurrence of unexpected shutdowns on iPhones. Apple was able to do so by lowering CPU performance so that it drew less power from older batteries, but the company is now offering an olive branch to customers: cheap battery replacements.