Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, I’m sure you have already heard the news that Apple has been slowing down older iPhones intentionally and failing to disclose these “power management” features to the public. These changes first came to the iPhone with iOS 10.2.1 and currently impact the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, the iPhone SE, and the iPhone 7 models. As you may expect, Apple is taking quite a bit of heat for this “feature”, which is supposedly designed to manage the power of iPhones by limiting their performance so they don’t shut down.
Now Apple is facing 26 lawsuits over this so-called feature which artificially hurts the performance of their older iPhone models. According to one of the complaints:
“Unbeknownst to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPhone 6s owners, Apple inserted code into iOS 10.2.1 that deliberately slowed down the processing performance of these phones by linking each phone’s processing performance with its battery health. Absent the code inserted by Apple, the reduced battery capacity of these phones would not have negatively affected processing performance.”
These lawsuits began after users discovered the slow down and accused Apple of artificially hurting the performance of its older device. The heat was so relentless Apple was forced to admit the truth, which they called a new feature.
“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.
Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.”
In another complaint, they argue that this is simply a way to encourage users to purchase new iPhones:
“Apple’s intentional degradation of the iPhone’s performance through the release of iOS impacted the usability of the device. Effectively, Apple has forced the obsolescence of iPhones by secretly diminishing their performance. Thus, Apple’s admission has confirmed what iPhone users have long suspected – i.e., that Apple deliberately degrades the performance of older iPhone models through iOS updates to encourage users to buy new iPhones.”
Apple has issued an apology for not informing customers about it, and have released a battery upgrade for only $29 that will put a stop to this so-called “feature”, but the damage has already been done. While this performance tweak only happens intermittently when the battery is starting to get low, the fact is they slow them down, and users could tell. Still, if you want to replace the battery on your iPhone, you can start the process here.
Still, I believe that this revelation has damaged Apple’s reputation and giving customers a way to spend even more money isn’t the way to fix it. What do you think? Should Apple offer these batteries for free or should they remove the feature completely? Sound off with your opinions in the comments below.