“On Wednesday, Apple confirmed what many customers have long suspected: The company has been slowing the performance of older iPhones. Apple says it started the practice a year ago, to compensate for battery degradation, rather than push people to upgrade their smartphones faster,” Jordan McMahon writes for Wired. “But even giving that benefit of the doubt, there are plenty of better ways Apple could have accomplished the same goal without betraying customer trust.”
“Apple could have simply educated users about the limitations of lithium-ion batteries, says Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, a company that sells repair kits and posts repair guides for consumer electronics,” McMahon writes. “While Apple does say in the iPhone user manual that batteries degrade over time and should be replaced, you’d have to dig through a few links outside of the manual to learn that by 500 charge cycles, your phone’s battery will hold a charge of about 80 percent.”
McMahon writes, “Another tactic Apple could employ is selling battery replacement kits to consumers, letting them pop a fresh battery into their aging iPhone.”
MacDailyNews Take: No. The average iPhone user is not equipped nor do they want to pry apart their sealed, watertight iPhones in order to monkey around with a dangerous Li-ion battery. It’s $79 for an Apple battery replacement. That quite a good price for the parts and labor required to hand you back an iPhone with a new battery that retains its water and dust resistance. It’s like buying a new battery for your car. They degrade, eventually fail, and must be replaced. Or you get a new car (or a new iPhone) for a lot more than the cost of a new battery.
Apple “had a much better option than making its software solution covert,” McMahon writes. “Rather than quietly push out an update that crimped older iPhones, it should have made that throttling opt-in. As it stands, there’s no way to avoid having your phone slowed down once the battery reaches its limits. By giving users the choice, and giving them the information necessary to make their own decision, Apple could avoid the frustrations many have expressed over the policy.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: That last idea is best.
As we wrote earlier this morning, Apple should provide a toggle switch in Settings where users specify if they’d like to keep running at high processor speeds even if it means rapid shutdowns or if they’d like to run at lower processors speeds to accommodate an aging battery that requires replacement.
Again, 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 policy today.
Information on how to maximize your iPhone’s battery life and lifespan is here.
🤣 So true, but it's already been established that people don't seem to understand that batteries wear out – at least when they're in an iPhone.
— MacDailyNews (@MacDailyNews) December 21, 2017
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