A court in France has fined tech giant Apple €25 million ($Au 41 million) for deliberately slowing down older iPhone models without making it clear to consumers.

It has long been rumoured that Apple covertly slows down older phones as a way of encouraging frustrated consumers to upgrade to newer, faster models.

In 2017, the company admitted that it actually does engage in this practice, but that it does so for reasons relating to battery life, rather than making customers upgrade.

They said that the lithium ion batteries in phones become less capable of supplying power demands as they age, which can lead to performance issues and random shutdowns.

A software update for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S and iPhone SE was rolled out in order to “smooth out” battery performance; Reddit users later confirmed this practice by testing their phone batteries.

This week, France’s competition and consumer watchdog hit Apple with the hefty penalty, saying that the company “committed the crime of deceptive commercial practice by omission.”

It said that iPhone users “were not informed that installing iOS updates (10.2.1 and 11.2) could slow down their devices.”

Apple has reportedly agreed to pay the fine, and will display a notice on its French-language website for a month.

Since 2017, the company has implemented the same process on various iPhone 6, 7, 8 and X models.

Image: Getty Images / Jaap Arriens