Apple apologized for deliberately slowing down older iPhones to purportedly ensure that they don’t automatically shut off while trying to keep up with a higher computing speed.
“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize,” reads the company blog post titled “A Message to Our Customers about iPhone Batteries and Performance.”
Still, Apple wanted to clarify what it views as misunderstandings of the situation.
“First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” the blog post continued.
Nevertheless, it went on to describe how such batteries work.
“All rechargeable batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age and their ability to hold a charge diminishes. Time and the number of times a battery has been charged are not the only factors in this chemical aging process.”
Perhaps most importantly, Apple conceded a crucial fact that “when a chemically aged battery is replaced with a new one,” the iPhone returns to a “normal,” if not optimal, performance level.
If iPhones in fact cease to operate properly as a battery naturally degenerates, then Apple could have advised customers that a new battery would resolve the technical issue. Instead, many interpret the lack of such advisement and undisclosed slowing of the operating system as a cunning way to get people to purchase newer models — a far more expensive purchase than batteries, and one that automatically yields profits for Apple.
At least eight lawsuits, including some class-action, have been levied against Apple for allegedly defrauding customers. The plaintiffs believe that the company has acted illegally and deceptively by intentionally choosing not to warn customers that it was remotely reducing the speed of smartphones with deteriorating battery capacity.
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