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France has fined Apple for slowing down iPhones. In the past, Apple made iPhones slower as they got older. Some people think this was because Apple wanted people to buy new phones. Apple says it was to keep the phones working. Apple says that the batteries got worse so the phones had to be slowed down. If they didn’t slow the phones, the phones might randomly turn off.

Not everyone believes Apple’s reason. France has now fined Apple €25 million ($27m). Apple has also paid $500m in a US lawsuit. France fined Apple for not telling people about slowing the phones. They didn’t say that Apple slowed the phones for a bad reason. Apple apologised for not telling people about slowing their phones. The company also discounted battery replacements on their phones to $29 for one year. 11 million people got a cheaper battery from Apple.

Apple has also changed the way they design phones. They have designed them to keep the batteries working longer. All iPhones now show the health of the battery too. People can easily see if their battery needs replacing. They can also decide how they want to manage the battery if it is bad. It will save many people from buying new phones if they don’t want to.

Difficult Words

Fine (v/n): Charge someone money for doing something wrong.

Randomly (adv): For something to happen without choosing it to happen.

Lawsuit (n): To take someone to court because you don’t agree with what they did.

Discount (v/n): To lower the price of a product.

Replacement (n): Something which is used instead of something else.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: 

Match the Synonym!

 1. Fine  A. Not chosen.
 2. Randomly  B. Cheaper
 3. Lawsuit  C. Use instead.
 4. Discount  D. Payment
 5. Replacement  E. Go to court.

True or False?

1. France has been praised for slowing down phones. T / F

2. Apple has had to pay money in France and the US. T / F

3. Apple did not tell people about slowing down the phones. T / F

4. Apple raised the price for battery replacements. T / F

5. Apple has kept the same design for their phones. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. slowing down / iPhones / for / France / Apple / has / fined

2. phones / the / was / it / working / Apple / says / to / keep

3. Apple’s / reason / Not / believes / everyone

4. people / Apple / telling / France / for / fined / not

5. batteries working / keep / have / They / the / to / designed them

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: 

Turn Slowing Design
Apologised Manage Paid

France has fined Apple for (1)____________ down iPhones. In the past, Apple made iPhones slower as they got older. Some people think this was because Apple wanted people to buy new phones. Apple says it was to keep the phones working. Apple says that the batteries got worse so the phones had to be slowed down. If they didn’t slow the phones, the phones might randomly (2)______ off.

Not everyone believes Apple’s reason. France has now fined Apple €25 million ($27m). Apple has also (3)________ $500m in a US lawsuit. France fined Apple for not telling people about slowing the phones. They didn’t say that Apple slowed the phones for a bad reason. Apple (4)_____________ for not telling people about slowing their phones. The company also discounted battery replacements on their phones to $29 for one year. 11 million people got a cheaper battery from Apple.

Apple has also changed the way they (5)__________ phones. They have designed them to keep the batteries working longer. All iPhones now show the health of the battery too. People can easily see if their battery needs replacing. They can also decide how they want to (6)____________ the battery if it is bad. It will save many people from buying new phones if they don’t want to.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Do you think it was right for France to fine Apple?
5. Did you experience your iPhone slowing down after an update?
6. Do you believe that Apple slowed down iPhones so people would have to buy new ones?
7. Do you agree with the punishments the courts gave Apple?
8. Do you think planned obsolescence is a problem with other products?
9. Do you buy a new phone if yours gets slow?
10. Would you rather replace the battery on an old phone or buy a new one?
11. Do you think Apple’s battery replacement discount was a good apology to customers?
12. Do you always update your phone to the latest software?
13. Would you rather your phone slow down or the battery last longer?
14. How important is the repairability of a product to you?
15. Have you ever had the battery replaced on any of your devices?
16. Do you use the new battery health features on phones?
17. How many hours do you think a phone’s battery should last?
18. Do you think an iPhone’s battery should be more easily replaced?
19. Do you think companies use other ways to make people update their devices?
20. Have similar scandals with tech companies happened in your country?