There have been numerous assertions that OEMs like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and Huawei among others. That they allegedly deliberately make devices that don’t last too long, so that you can keep coming back to buy newer devices from them.
That is to say (allegedly), you as the consumer, you were expected to buy the original iPhone that came out in 2007. In 2008, you were supposed to get the iPhone 3G, 2009 get the iPhone 3Gs. You and most importantly, your wallet, were supposed to move with fashion as iPhone 4S > iPhone 5 > iPhone 5S > iPhone 5C > iPhone 6/6 Plus > iPhone 6S/6S Plus > iPhone SE > iPhone 7/7 Plus and iPhone X.
What happened to the good old plan of buying a device that is going to serve you for decade after decade? They don’t make them that good anymore, and we can blame the likes of Nokia and BlackBerry for putting our hopes so high then disappearing from the market, leaving us with OEMs who want us to upgrade to new devices each year they release a flagship device.
The idea of getting the latest iPhone each year Apple releases a new flagship smartphone sounds so good. Except for the fact that the base model of the flagship smartphone starts in the ranges of $1,000. That a considerable investment, and it should be an investment that should take you for at least a decade before you fill it is time to upgrade.
To make things worse, there are allegations that Apple is deliberately slowing down older iPhones. To what end? Well, the first conclusion would be so that you can get a more recent iPhone, which means higher profit for them, year-on-year.
Two Consumers took Apple to Court for slowing their old iPhones
On Wednesday, Apple was in court over a class-action breach-of-contract suit filed by two consumers through a Los Angeles based lawyer. The two plaintiff are complaining they never consented to give Apple the permission to slow down their aging iPhones.
The lawsuit reads in part: “As a result of Defendant’s wrongful actions, Plaintiffs and Class Members had their phone slowed down, and thereby it interfered with Plaintiff’s and Class Members’ use or possession of their iPhones.”
Apple admitted to deliberately slowing down iPhones as they age. However, they defend their action saying that older iPhone suffers from aging batteries that no longer supply strong power to the internal hardware components consistently especially when they are getting low. To prevent the hardware damage when the battery runs out of juice abruptly, Apple says it introduced a program that makes older iPhones run slowly.
“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.”
Long story short, Apple is pinning the blame on the nature of Li-Ion batteries. They age with time and not able to support instantaneous demands of energy from the device’s hardware components. A sudden spike in demand for power from an old Li-Ion battery might make the entire device shut down abruptly; possibly damaging delicate hardware.
To prevent that from happening, Apple releases an update to older iPhone, so they can drain a consistent amount of power from the battery, and not instantaneously higher than normal. By doing so, it also leads to the smartphone running slower, as a result of the update issued by Apple.
Why can’t Apple make smartphones with easily replaceable batteries then?
The argument Apple fronts on the defect of aging Li-Ion batteries makes a lot of sense. Then again, why can they make iPhone with easily replaceable batteries, so that once your batteries start aging, you walk into an Apple Store and pay less than $100 for a new battery. As it is designed, once your battery starts aging and they issue the update to make your iPhone run slow. You are supposed to walk into an Apple Store and grab a new iPhone; which could be somewhere in the ranges of $1,000.