“Apple confirmed last week that it slows down the processors in recent iPhone models, an attempt to prevent an aging battery from causing problems,” Timothy Green writes for The Motley Fool. “Apple began doing this with the iPhone 6 and iPhone SE, and it plans to expand the number of supported devices in the future.”

“Not surprisingly, the class action lawsuits have begun rolling in. Users are understandably upset that Apple was purposefully slowing down their expensive phones behind their backs,” Green writes. “Apple’s rationale isn’t unreasonable; a slowed-down phone is a lot better than a phone that crashes frequently due to a weak battery. But by keeping this a secret — only acknowledging the feature when users figured out what was going on — Apple has done some damage to its most valuable asset.”

“There’s no brand quite like Apple,” Green writes. “The quickest way to destroy that kind of loyalty is to bamboozle your customer. The feature that slows down old iPhones isn’t the problem. The problem is that Apple didn’t tell its customers what it was doing. The most cynical interpretation is that Apple wanted frustrated users to buy new phones. Whether or not that was a consideration on Apple’s part, selling more phones is a side effect of the decision to keep the feature secret… All of this could have been avoided had Apple been upfront about its slow-down feature. No matter what the intentions were, the move comes off as at least a little bit sleazy.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last week:

Lithium-ion batteries are to mobile devices as tires are to vehicles… As with your car’s tires, which are not covered in even the most comprehensive vehicle service arrangements, your iPhone batteries are your responsibility. Normal wear and tear. Apple, if they should do anything, should make this point exceedingly clear and even include an alert on devices to inform users that states something like:

Your battery has just completed its 500th charging cycle and, to maintain peak performance, needs to be replaced. Your battery is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles. Your warranty covers a defective battery, but it doesn’t cover battery wear from normal use. For your convenience, your device will continue operating at reduced processor speeds until replacement can be performed.

• If you’re covered under AppleCare+, we’ll replace your battery at no charge if it retains less than 80 percent of its original capacity.
• If your iPhone needs battery replacement and it’s not covered, the service fee is $79.
• If your iPhone has another power issue, we’ll give you the repair price after we determine the cause.

The three bullet points above are exactly Apple’s publicly-stated (i.e. not secret) policy today.

Information on how to maximize your iPhone’s battery life and lifespan is here.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Should Apple replace aging iPhone batteries for free instead of throttling processor speed? – December 21, 2017
Apple confirms iPhones with older batteries will take hits in performance – December 20, 201
iPhone performance and battery age – December 18, 2017
Apple met with Chinese regulators to discuss iPhone 6s unexpected shutdowns – February 10, 2017
Rumor: Apple may extend iPhone 6s battery replacement program to iPhone 6 – January 17, 2017
A message from Apple about 
iPhone and unexpected shutdowns – December 2, 2016
Apple offers free battery replacement for ‘very small number’ of iPhone 6s units with unexpected shutdown issue – November 21, 2016