Company faces backlash after slowing down phones
Apple is the largest technology company in the world and was the ninth largest company in recorded history at the end of 2017, but even giants fall. Despite its popularity, there have always been rumors and conspiracy theories against the company—and now, one of those rumors has been confirmed.
On Dec. 21, Apple announced that they slow down older iPhones when users update their iOS. This has been the suspicion among tech junkies and Apple customers for a while, but since the company made the announcement, it has created monsoons of discussion among consumers.
Many people have long believed that Apple slows older phones to increase sales for the newest iPhone, since most users notice a slowed performance around the time of the newest model release.
However, Apple said in a statement that the real reason they slow down the phone’s processing speed is to protect its Lithium-ion battery, which can be damaged in cold weather, when it has a low charge, and as it ages.
In their statement, Apple said, “Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks [of battery capability] 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.”
The situation raises many questions about the integrity of Apple as a company for not being transparent about the details of these updates prior to now.
The company has been hit with at least two dozen lawsuits since admitting to slowing down phones. Some customers want to be completely reimbursed by Apple if they bought a new iPhone to replace their throttled model, while others want Apple to replace their battery free of charge.
For those looking for ways to overcome the reduced operating speed, the best bet is to replace the battery.
AppleCare+ customers, a replacement battery is completely free at the Apple store’s Genius Bar. Those without the insurance program will be charged $29, which was decreased from the previous $79 fee after negative feedback. Shipping the phone to Apple itself to have the battery replaced is a viable option, but has a nearly week-long turnaround. Of course, replacing the battery oneself is possible, but it is discouraged by many tech websites.
Apple will likely begin to offer more solutions to the problem as time passes.
“Batterygate,” as some are calling it, has created a divide among consumers. A poll on 9to5mac.com shows 49 percent of customers are satisfied with Apple’s apology and handling of the controversy, while 46 percent want Apple to do more, and 4 percent of people do not care.
This is not the first time Apple has come under fire. In 2014, the company uploaded the U2 album Songs of Innocence to all iPhones’ music libraries unannounced. That decision also backfired, so the biggest question of all is: Will Apple continue to operate without permission or will they move forward from this incident, communicating with their customers?