Apple admits what we all thought: old iPhones are being slowed down

Dec 26, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Apple admits what we all thought: old iPhones are being slowed down

Dec 26, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Earlier this month, a Reddit post sparked a big discussion about Apple slowing down old iPhone models. The post blew up quickly, and Apple has recently admitted: they are deliberately slowing down the processor on the older phones. However, their claims are different from the widespread opinion. Instead of forcing you to buy a new iPhone, Apple says this is happening to protect the phones with older Li-ion batteries.

Reportedly, a simple battery change should make the processor speed up again. And while it seems to work for some users, it didn’t solve the problem for others. According to some sources, the class-action lawsuits against Apple begin to mount.

When The Verge contacted Apple for the comment, they admitted they were intentionally slowing down the processor of the older iPhone models. But according to them, it was all in the best interest of their customers:

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.

According to Apple, last year they released a feature to protect the phones with worn-out batteries from unexpectedly shutting down. It was rolled out for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE. They’ve now extended it to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and they say they plan to support other products in future.

Of course, the assumption was that Apple was slowing the phones down just to make you upgrade the phone. After all, when your phone gets too laggy, the first thing you’d probably think of doing is replacing it. Still, according to some users, simply changing the battery should be enough. But, this isn’t as simple as it sounds.

First of all, the battery change didn’t work out for some of the users. I’ve read comments from people saying that, even when they placed a new battery in their iPhone, it continued being slow. Then, some users complained about the employees in the official Apple Stores. Allegedly, they refused to replace the battery on their iPhones, and just encouraged them to buy a new phone instead.

Still, even if everything was simple and a new battery worked for everyone – Apple wasn’t transparent about this feature until the story broke out on the internet. Because of this, lawsuits are being filed against the company. As Ars Technica writes, all the lawsuits allege basically the same thing: iPhones were getting lower performance over time, and Apple hid this fact from their users.

A lawsuit Stefan Bogdanovich filed against Apple argues that Apple “breached an implied contract” and “trespassed on a private property” (the iPhones they already sold to the customers). A lawsuit of Keaton Harvey argues that Apple was implementing “illegal, unfair, fraudulent and unconscionable corporate policy.”

Another lawsuit claims that the users would have replaced the batteries instead of phones if Apple or their technical/customer service has informed them they should do it. And I believe this is where the core of the problem is. Even if Apple slows the phones down just to protect your iPhone, they should have been transparent about it from the start. This way, many users have replaced their phones instead of just changing batteries, which, of course, costs a lot more.

[via The Verge, Ars Technica]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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20 responses to “Apple admits what we all thought: old iPhones are being slowed down”

  1. Susie Stricklin Avatar
    Susie Stricklin

    Time for a Samsung.

    1. Brian Fergusson Avatar
      Brian Fergusson

      Not a Samsung fan – too much bloatware and too slow rolling out Android updates.

  2. Bruce Kinnaird Scott Avatar
    Bruce Kinnaird Scott

    iPhones are for mugs with more money than sense. Android phones are faster and easier to use at a third of the price.

    1. Carl Turps Avatar
      Carl Turps

      Like Toyota owners. Android users aren’t good at maths. Unless the android phone you are talking about is some no name unreliable junk. Samsung and Sony are bugger all cheaper.

    2. Bruce Kinnaird Scott Avatar
      Bruce Kinnaird Scott

      …..and mine’s got a headphones socket :)

  3. Kenn Mayfield Avatar
    Kenn Mayfield

    The batteries age and can’t provide the current the phone needs during heavy activity, so tasks get spread out over CPU cycles to compensate.

    1. Jason H. West Avatar
      Jason H. West

      They have you snowed… I’m still running a Note 3 – old AF – and has no problems whatsoever. Stop drinking the Koolaid…

    2. Kenn Mayfield Avatar
      Kenn Mayfield

      Jason H. West You’re just drinking a different flavour, friend.

    3. Phillip C Reed Avatar
      Phillip C Reed

      Still running old software too, right?

  4. David Campbell Avatar
    David Campbell

    Apple is demonstrating that they are willing to do whatever is necessary to compel users to buy a new device. No matter our opinion of Apple and its products, we must realize that this behavior will be imitated by other companies if it proves to be effective and there are no negative consequences for Apple. These class action lawsuits must succeed so we can make a statement to technology companies that we will not accept these practices.

    1. Jason H. West Avatar
      Jason H. West

      Shit, yeah.

    2. Theo Brinkman Avatar
      Theo Brinkman

      Let’s get this straight.

      You believe that Apple should be sued, and punished, for providing power management capabilities that allow a device, with an old battery that can no longer deliver adequate power, to continue functioning (albeit more slowly) rather than turning off, crashing, becoming unstable, or becoming unreliable?

      In what world does that make sense? What color is the sky there?

      If you simply replace the aged battery with a new one (about $25, complete with all the tools you’ll need to do the job), your iPhone will continue to operate at peak performance. Or you can pay a bit more and have someone else do it for you.

      1. Jeff Murray Avatar
        Jeff Murray

        This here is one of the ver few rational comments made about this. If apple isnt willing to replace your battery, its because you arent having this issue. Slowdowns happen for a number of reasons, people are just assuming now that Apple is slowing down their phone and its some kind of conspiracy. Should they have communcated what they were doing better? Maybe, but that doent at all justify the overblown hype and misleading articles and headlines like this one.

    3. David Campbell Avatar
      David Campbell

      Did you actually read the article?

      The issue is that Apple did not duly inform users of the change, nor did they suggest that replacing the battery would cause the software to throttle the CPU back to factory settings. They did it secretly, without informed consent of the users.

      Apple only commented on the battery issue after it was discovered quite accidentally by users. In some cases, users went to an Apple dealer to get a replacement battery, but the store refused to replace it, and attempted to persuade users to buy a new product.

      Now if Apple had made a press release declaring their intention to throttle the CPUs of old phones that used old batteries, and recommended at that time a solution of simply changing the battery, then their defense would make sense. This is spurious logic on their part and we should all be insulted that they would expect us to swallow such a transparent lie.

  5. Jyi Offer Avatar
    Jyi Offer

    You’re a fool if you think this is isolated to Apple.
    I have an Nexus7 that’s done exactly the same thing. Completely useless it’s so slow

  6. Anis Wail Avatar
    Anis Wail

    Salah !!

  7. Olaf Hansen Avatar
    Olaf Hansen

    I wonder that an iphone doesnt explode automatically when the new model is on the market.

  8. Dan Levy Avatar
    Dan Levy

    Been knowing this since iPhone 3

  9. CanonMinolta Avatar
    CanonMinolta

    Just another example of a big company disrespecting it’s customers
    Sprint. Adobe. Comcast. The list goes on.

    BTW – where is my new battery?

    And – how do I join the class action law suit?