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Apple will come clean with Brits over iPhone batteries and performance

Apple has made formal commitments to be more upfront with UK iPhone users when it comes to battery health and the performance of their handset.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had raised concerns with the tech giant following the performance throttling of older iPhones, which the company assures was designed to prevent unexpected shutdowns of handsets with ageing batteries.

Following talks with the government department, Apple has pledged to provide easily accessible information about the battery health of an iPhone and how diminishing battery capacity could lead to unexpected shutdowns if performance isn’t managed. Apple will also be more pro-active in helping iPhone users optimise battery life moving forward.

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According to a Gov.UK post from the CMA, this could “help people improve the performance of their own handset after a planned software update by, for example, changing settings, adopting the low power mode or replacing the battery – rather than resorting to having their phone repaired or replaced. The firm has agreed to do this both for current and future iPhones.”

Of course, Apple had already addressed a lot of the concerns consumers and observers raised following the CPU throttling controversy. Back in late 2017, the company rejected accusations it was attempting to force obsolescence on older iPhones in order to encourage hardware upgrades. It simply said it was protecting iPhone users against shutdowns by lowering performance levels.

Since then it has offered cheap battery replacements throughout the whole of 2018 and introduced a new iOS-based battery health tool that advises iPhone users when the cell requires changing, while giving users the opportunity to choose whether performance is throttled or not.

However, the CMA says by getting Apple to sign up for these undertakings, it is now legally bound by them, with court action threatened for any breaches. It remains to be seen how Apple will put those commitments into action, but it’s likely to be through its support pages. We’ll keep you posted.

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