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Apple is being probed by South Korea over iPhone performance throttling

Apple is now being investigated by South Korean prosecutors over its deliberate throttling of performance in older iPhones to extend the life of ageing batteries.

Prosecutors are probing Apple to try and work out whether the processor throttling the Cupertino company recently admitted to can be attributed to ‘planned obsolescence’, according to The Korea Herald, whereby Apple’s slowing down of its older iPhones forces people to upgrade to the latest models like the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

Apple has stated that its throttling of processors in older iPhones is a move to optimise the battery life of ageing handsets to contract the chemical degradation that Lithium-ion battery packs go through over time.

Continuous discharging and charging of Lithium-ion battery packs in smartphone causes them to not only struggle to last as long as they did when new, but also find it difficulty to deliver their peak power output.

Apple noted that such s situation means that is needed to throttle the power demands a processor puts on an ageing battery to prevent older iPhones from shutting down.

But this hasn’t sat well with some South Koreans and Apple Insider reported that Seoul’s Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty filed a complaint against Cupertino claiming that the performance throttling is actually a move to prompt iPhone uses to upgrade to the latest handsets.

This complaint sparked-off the investigation by prosecutors into Apple’s performance limiting practices.

Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has apologised for how the company failed to communicate why it slows down older iPhones, and Apple moved to reduce the battery replacement price from £75 to £25. There are plenty of stories from iPhone users noting that once a battery replacement is done, their old iPhone delivers similar performance as it did when new.

Furthermore, Cook recently revealed that the next iOS 11 update will allow iPhone fans to turn off the performance throttling feature in their phones, not that he recommended such a move.

Apple continues to deny any claims of planned obsolescence, but it is facing similar probes in both France and Italy, which would suggest people are not convinced by its benevolent motivations behind the performance throttling.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S9 release

Should Apple disable the performance throttling feature by default or stand by its battery saving motivations? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

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