People on the Internet appear to be setting their iPhone's location to France, despite not living there, in an attempt to speed up their devices. The "hack", which has received a lot of attention on Reddit and other social media networks, claims that it prevents the slowing of devices seen on many older iPhones.
Why? Well, according to a report from GizChina, it all stems back to a fine imposed on Apple by France's competition watchdog in 2020. The firm was fined 25 million euros ($27 million) last year for deliberately slowing older devices, without making it clear to consumers that installing updates would cause them to crawl. Apple confirmed in 2017 that they do slow older devices, stating that this is in order to increase the performance of the lithium-ion batteries as they age.
"Electronic components require a minimum voltage to properly operate," the company wrote on their website, explaining that older batteries are less capable of delivering the charge needed for the new systems it operates.
"When the operations can no longer be supported with the full capabilities of the power management system, the system will perform a shutdown to preserve these electronic components. While this shutdown is intentional from the device perspective, it may be unexpected by the user."
And so when users downloaded upgrades to their older models of iPhone (the company says that this has changed from iPhone 8 onwards) they were downloading software that would slow down their phones, in order to prevent these shutdowns and other battery problems, which led some to accuse the firm of engaging in planned obsolescence.
Users on the Internet, following the report from GizChina, believe that since the lawsuit in France, Apple have stopped this throttling of performance in the country, and so setting your own old iPhone's region to France will then disable the slowdown.
To do this, you need to:
- Open Settings
- Tap on your name and enter password (or place your thumb on the reader)
- Tap Media & Purchases
- Tap View Account
- Tap Country/Region
- Select France
As stated above, though this might work, it could cause you some battery issues and unexpected shutdowns, which you could find more annoying than your slower phone. In newer phones that run iOS 11.3 and above, Apple have battery health settings that will tell you if your battery is aging and needs to be replaced.
"Additionally, users can see if the performance management feature that dynamically manages maximum performance to prevent unexpected shutdowns is on and can choose to turn it off."
Changing your country on a newer iPhone however is pointless, but may make you feel a little fancy.