After years of complaints from consumers that their iPhones seem slower once a new model is released, Apple on Wednesday disclosed it was indeed slowing the performance of some older iPhones under particular circumstances.
Apple has rolled out software updates which are slowing down old iPhones.
Apple’s statement means that, as a battery ages and becomes less responsive, requests for power will be spread out over several cycles to prevent the operating system from crashing or freezing.
Bogdanovich and Speas, represented by the Los Angeles-based Wilshire Law Firm, argued that Apple never asked them for permission to install this feature and did not give them the option to choose or bargain a way to turn off the feature.
So, what’s going on here?
Apple has been relatively silent over the issue but in a statement earlier this week, they revealed the reason.
Users of the iPhone 6, 6S and SE may have experienced this mysterious slowing down of their devices, and that will now also include iPhone 7 users. This year’s iOS 11.2 extended the feature to the iPhone7 and 7 Plus and it will be also be applied to other Apple devices in the future.
Specifically, one suit claims the plaintiffs suffered interferences to their iPhone usage as well as economic damages due to the slowdown.
John Poole, developer of Geekbench and founder/president of Primate Labs, published an analysis of iPhone 6s and 7 performance issues in a Geekbench post on Monday. But for those who want a little more power from their phones, the best step here would be to upgrade your battery. But the company has constantly lobbied against the right-to-repair legislation, making it hard for users to repair their own phones, or get third-party fixes.
On Slate, technology writer Will Oremus said Apple’s secrecy allowed conspiracy theories about planned obsolescence to thrive.
Addendum: This didn’t take long. “The alternative, in some cases, can be the phone actually crashing”. So, it’s probably not surprising that people complain about their phones seeming to slow down after 18 months or so, and definitely after two years: By then, you’re well past 500 daily charging cycles. “The other problem with holding back on security updates is you lose the security improvements and fixes that Apple makes with every release, thus putting you in danger of … hackers and whatnot”.