Tim Cook suggests customers were informed about Apple throttling iPhones with aging batteries

“In a recent TV interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrongly suggested that customers were properly informed about the iOS change that resulted in throttling performance on iPhones with failing batteries,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “Unfortunately, the interviewer failed to correct him or make much of an effort to ask proper follow-up questions.”

“Now Apple did mention a change, first for the 10.2.1 update in 2016, that it was addressing a sudden shutdown problem on some units. But there was no disclosure that the fix meant that performance would be reduced to eliminate the problem,” Steinberg writes. “Another sentence or two about the fix reducing performance to regulate power use would have been appropriate, as would an explanation that the user should have the battery checked and see if it needed to be replaced.”

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s release notes stated:

Improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns.

That’s it. The end.

In the interview last Wednesday with ABC News, Cook did add that “maybe we should have been clearer, as well.” So, there is some recognition of the problem by Apple’s CEO.

“Two sentences, and a load of problems and suspicions would have been avoided. There would probably not have been dozens of class action lawsuits and possible other actions against Apple for allegedly engaging in a planned obsolescence scheme,” Steinberg writes. “Even though Apple denies that this was its intent, and that performance throttling was done for the benefit of the customer, not everyone believes them. I do. But I think that Apple’s attempt at maintaining its little nanny state backfired. Proper messaging would have made a load of difference.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

Tim, hire someone who can write decent release notes. Less emphasis on brevity and more on elucidation, please.

As has almost always been the case with Apple, unfortunately, transparency comes later, not sooner, and usually as a reaction to negative publicity. A simple Knowledge Base article would have preempted all of this Reddit sleuthing and the attendant handwringing and erroneous presumptions.MacDailyNews, December 20, 2017

Apple CEO Cook: Next iOS update will allow users to disable intentional battery slowdowns – January 18, 2018
Tim Cook: ‘Maybe we should have been clearer’ over throttling iPhones with aging batteries – January 18, 2018
China consumer group seeks answers from Apple over batterygate – January 16, 2018
South Korean consumer group considering criminal case against Apple over iPhone batterygate – January 11, 2018
French prosecutor launches probe into Apple planned obsolescence – January 8, 2018
Apple’s design decisions and iPhone batteries – January 8, 2018
Apple now faces over two dozen lawsuits for ‘purposefully’ or ‘secretly’ slowing down older iPhones – January 5, 2018
Why aging batteries don’t slow down Android phones like Apple iPhones – January 5, 2018
Apple’s $29 replacement batteries expected to hurt new iPhone sales – January 4, 2018
How to see if Apple’s throttling your iPhone – January 4, 2018
Brazilian agency requires Apple to inform consumers on batteries – January 3, 2018
Analyst: Apple’s ‘batterygate’ solution may mean 16 million fewer iPhones sold this year – January 3, 2018
An Apple conspiracy theory blooms – January 2, 2018


  1. I don’t think Cook was ever told about the throttling. I’d guess the engineers just fixed it, and THEY never considered the importance of discussing the details.

    Just a guess, of course, being a former software developer

        1. When I was an Apple apologist, I engaged with their leadership and accepted their explanations of their shortcomings, which I then duly repeated. Today’s apologists are weak and lazy and can’t be bothered with fact-checking; they make up plausible scenarios and defend them, as if their intellect alone were enough to substitute for the truth.

        2. Once again, well said, Herself.

          I suspect their “intellect alone” was replaced by a swaggering arrogance as the billion bucks pile grew to historic proportions.

          Apple needs FOCUS and REAL GROUNDING more than ever …

  2. I’ve heard more than one developer say that Apple had discussed the battery/shutdown/throttling issue going back as far as two years ago. But, of course, explaining things to developers is not the same as explaining things to your end users. The word Stupid is rightly used in conjunction with this episode. The lack of clear communications to customers was just plain Stupid.

    1. Apple doesn’t like to communicate. It is almost as if they believed ignorance is bliss. If you shove them up against the wall and demand the truth, they will come clean, but only reluctantly, like Peter Lorre in Casablanca.

    1. Cook is nothing more than a MEDIA DIVERSITY DAHLING who was granted access and a job from SJ.

      As long as the money train continues, the board and shareholders could not give a rat’s fart about all the missteps, SJW distractions and falling behind in products both innovative and delivered.

      As “herself” recently posted, it’s all a “facade” …

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.