Apple to release software update to resolve iPhone slowdown

Beware! A new bug can crash iOS and macOS with a single text message

Italy's antitrust body said on Thursday it had opened a probe into allegations that Apple and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd used software updates to slow their mobile phones and push clients into buying new handsets.

Apple will give users the option to turn off a feature that temporarily slows down older iPhones in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns, chief executive Tim Cook has said.

Cook says the update will also give notifications to users before it starts throttling phone performance due to weak battery health.

Apple confirmed on December 20 that software in iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE models to deal with dangers from ageing batteries could slow down the phone's performance.

The controversy over Apple's "throttling" technique erupted late past year, when a Reddit user discovered his old iPhone instantly regained computing performance when he installed a new battery. It wasn't necessarily the fact that Apple implemented the system, rather it was because iPhone users didn't know about it and weren't given a choice whether if they wanted to participate in the plan or not.

World Economic Forum warns
Any breathing space this offers to leaders in the new year should not be squandered, it said. The U.K.'s trade barriers may also increase as it leaves the European Union, it noted.

Cook's disclaimer is that Apple doesn't recommend turning off this feature, as the company initially came out with it to stop unexpected shut-downs. The resulting uproar saw the company accused of deliberately slowing down older devices to encourage users to buy new ones, a practice known as "planned obsolescence". "We deeply apologize for anyone who thinks we have some other kind of motivation".

Those with the update will have an option to chose whether they want their iPhone's performance to be throttled when its battery degrades to a certain point.

As part of its attempt to minimize the backlash against its battery strategy, Apple has also cut the price of battery replacements from $79 to $29.

The company did not confirm which version of iOS they would be releasing, although considering that the new iOS 11.2.5 beta 6 includes this bug fix, then there is a pretty good chance that the software will land next week.



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