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Apple faces lawsuit over purposely slowing down older iPhones

Apple might now be regretting its decision to formally admit a course of action that has earned it not just criticisms but now a lawsuit as well. Geekbench and Reddit earlier speculated that Apple was intentionally throttling down the performance of older iPhone models with older batteries. The company then admitted to the act but defended it as a safeguard and a feature to keep iPhones safe for use. Users are not having any of it and at least two want to take Apple to court for doing such without even informing users.

Apple’s reasons for purposely slowing down older iPhones has some technical merit. Current batteries degrade considerably over time and expecting them to perform just as well two years after they were made is plain unreasonable. Something will eventually give. Either the iPhones randomly start shutting down because the batteries can no longer deliver the peak charge the iPhone requires or, and this is Apple’s choice, the iPhone reduces its workload to reduce its demands on the battery.

While few will probably contest Apple’s technical reasons (though some will probably still do), the issue being raised by most is the company’s failure to communicate. It admits to adding that “feature” in an iOS update way back affecting only the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6s, and the iPhone SE. It also admits it plans to do the same soon for the iPhone 7. In none of the cases, however, did Apple even inform users it will be degrading their iPhone’s performance, much less give them a choice to shoot their own foot.

That failure is being used by Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas to sue Apple in the Central District Court of California. Their lawsuit, however, claims more than what Apple already admitted. According to the two, Apple’s intentional interference of normal iPhone operations has caused owners to take in their phones for out of warranty repairs or even upgrade to a newer model. In other words, it translated to more profit for Apple.

It does smell of conspiracy theories that Apple will deny outright or even bother responding to and could probably weaken the lawsuit entirely. It is still uncertain whether Apple’s failure to disclose the information, either at the time of the software update or during new iPhone sales, constitutes a breach of contract. It is a PR mess, suffice to say.

SOURCE: Mercury News