After iPhone users learned that Apple has been purposefully slowing down the older models to ‘optimise performance’, the tech giant has been slammed with a series class-action lawsuits. However, the distrust being created by this ‘iPhone slowdown’ saga is a bigger worry for Apple than the impending financial losses. Understandably, Tim Cook and co. are doing all they can to salvage the situation.
Many iPhone users have experienced the ‘iPhone slowdown’ over the years, especially after iOS updates. But it is only recently that Apple acknowledged that it has been throttling the iPhone’s processor speed to compensate for the depreciating battery life. The slowing down of the processor affected many of the older iPhone models including iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7. Following the admission, the tech giant apologized over the handling of the issue in a letter, explaining its rationale for throttling CPU performance on older devices.
“We’ve heard feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process,” the letter reads. “We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.”
In hopes of regaining consumer trust and loyalty and avoiding further criticism, Apple took an additional step of slashing the prices of out of warranty batteries. The battery replacement for iPhone 6 or later models that earlier costed $79 will now cost $29. In India, out-of-warranty battery replacement earlier costed approx. Rs. 6,500 inclusive of taxes but will now be priced at Rs. 2,000, exclusive of taxes.
Even after Apple reiterated that its intentions were not to slow down the older iPhones and trick customers into buying the latest devices, the users continued to believe that it was Apple’s way of forcing them to chuck out more money for the newer models. Many believe that if not for the benchmarking discoveries, Apple might have never revealed its sneaky maneuver.
Besides the battery replacement, Apple announced that in early 2018, the company would release an iOS update to offer more visibility to the users regarding battery performance.
Last few months have been tough ones for Apple. The release of iOS 11 introduced myriad bugs that required multiple subsequent patches, HomePod missed its launch this year, and now the company has to deal with the public outcry on battery and performance throttling.
Though Apple’s public apology is a good start and the reduction in price for battery replacement might please few disappointed customers, but the company is still caught in the crosshairs of outraged customers who seek answers as to why Apple never sought their consent on whether they preferred to have their iPhones slower than the norm.
That said, Apple’s heartfelt apology is far from perfect. The company failed to mention that once an iPhone has reached a certain age, iOS would slow down the phones. And the company still doesn’t seem to be making this CPU throttling policy optional. While we are all up for preventing unexpected shutdowns, it would be nice to be asked whether we are okay with iOS slowing the phone down or not.