“Apple is now facing no less than eight lawsuits over claims it artificially slowed down iPhones with aging batteries,” Jeff Gamet reports for The Mac Observer. “The cases were filed in U.S. Federal Courts in California, Illinois, and New York, and all are pushing for class action status.”
“The first cases were filed in California and Illinois just after Apple confirmed the iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 7 all experience slower performance as their batteries age,” Gamet reports. “Apple made a change in iOS 10.2.1 in early 2017 to address a problem where iPhone batteries that no longer hold a full charge would spontaneously reboot when processor usage spiked, demanding more power than was available. The company fixed the problem by spreading out the processor requests that otherwise caused a spike to spread out over several cycles, effectively slowing down the phone.”
Gamet reports, “The big issue in the end was that Apple didn’t tell users what it was doing.”
Read more in the full article here.
“A similar case was lodged in an Israeli court on Monday, the newspaper Haaretz reported,” Paresh Dave reports for Reuters. “The problem now seen is that users over the last year could have blamed an aging computer processor for app crashes and sluggish performance – and chose to buy a new phone – when the true cause may have been a weak battery that could have been replaced for a fraction of the cost, some of the lawsuits state.”
“Chris Hoofnagle, faculty director for the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, said in an email that Apple may not have done wrong,” Dave reports. “‘We still haven’t come to consumer protection norms’ around aging products, Hoofnagle said. Pointing to a device with a security flaw as an example, he said, ‘the ethical approach could include degrading or even disabling functionality.'”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Again, regardless of the merit of any of these claims, Apple should have clearly told users what was happening.
Apple should have made this point exceedingly clear by including 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.
Apple tarnished their brand with clandestine iPhone battery management and processor throttling – December 27, 2017
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