Apple Sued For Deliberately Slowing Down Older iPhones
Days after addressing the millions of conspiracy theories on the internet about the mysterious slowing down of older iPhones, Apple has been sued for it. Filed by Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas, the suit claims that Apple’s deliberate effort to throttle CPU performance on the iPhone amounts to “breach of contract.” It also notes that Apple’s behaviour lowers the resale value of existing iPhones and underhandedly coerces iPhone owners to upgrade to newer models.
For years, iPhone users claimed to notice a discernible system slowdown with some iOS updates. However, the issue came in the spotlight thanks to a widely circulated Reddit thread backed. Following that, Geekbench founder John Poole did some performance testing on various iPhones running different versions of iOS. Poole found that Apple does, in fact, limit performance on older iPhone models with lower-capacity batteries in the interest of battery life and preventing unexpected shutdowns.
After the hue and cry on social media, Apple decided to address the issue and put out a statement:
Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.
Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.
It is fair to say that while Apple has a noble reason behind the decision, the company should’ve been up-front about it from the beginning. Waiting for an outcry to come clean makes it look like a PR decision more than anything else. No other details about the lawsuit have been revealed yet.