Why not? Apple has more than $250-billion in the bank and a public relations nightmare on its hands. It’s called Batterygate. It’s a mess and not likely to get settled any time soon, so why not join in, sue Apple for damages and maybe get a free battery upgrade or perhaps a new iPhone X to soothe our misery. Everyone is doing it these days.
Many iPhone and iPad users have thought for years that new annual upgrades to iOS brought slower performance. Maybe so, maybe not (and there are benchmarks which suggest more not than maybe), but someone did some tracking and determined that older phones with older batteries benchmarked slower than new phones with newer batteries.
Uh oh. Batterygate.
Apple admitted that it slowed down older phones to avoid performance issues because chemistry and science. Lithium ion batteries have problems as they age and Apple accounted for the changes in battery performance by slowing down iOS to avoid the inherent hiccups a battery could cause.
How much of a slowdown? Only Apple knows, and it may vary depending upon battery power and age, but it doesn’t matter now because the cat is out of the bag and ambulance chasing lawyers have stopped chasing after the injured and started gathering iPhone customers into a growing rash of lawsuits.
We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making. First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.
That seems straightforward enough and is sufficient for me but I get a new iPhone every year or two at the most and haven’t noticed any kind of a performance slowdown. Ever.
John Poole, founder of software company Primate Labs, discovered earlier this month that iPhone 6s models running iOS version 10.2 and 11.2, and iPhone 7 phones running iOS 11.2, were more likely to have instances of lower processing speed.
It’s an interesting read, heavy on the Geekscale, but confirms what Apple has now announced and apologized for– batteries age and, lawyers and lawsuits be damned, Apple did something about it to help customers.
End of story, right?
Of course not. That’s not how the interwebs work these days. Already there are a few dozen lawsuits against Apple for the performance adjustment it made to recent iPhone models that experienced such problems as batteries aged. More will follow. But Batterygate is not the same issue as Volkswagen’s Dieselgate.
We bought a vehicle under the assumption that all of the claims they made about the engine performance being a “Clean Diesel” were true. They were completely false. It was too good to be true.
Volkswagen deliberately lied to customers. Did Apple?
That lie and willful intention to deceive their customers (and the world’s governments) has resulted (so far) in a cost of about $30 billion in damages the company has had to pay to government regulatory agencies, buyouts, and additional punitive compensation to customers in multiple countries.
There are similarities in these public relations disasters, but intent does not seem to among them.
It has been an utter disaster for the company’s public relations. I for one will probably never buy another Volkswagen, Audi or Porsche product ever again. While the company is not likely to go under from this mess, its reputation is going to be permanently marred, and it will lose generations of goodwill and loyalty from its customers that were hurt by this.
In a world where no good deed goes unpunished Apple is being punished for doing both the right and the wrong thing at the same time. Throttling performance to protect the user experience from inherent issues caused by dying batteries? Good thing. Not telling anyone about it or giving the user an Opt In option? Bad thing.
As a step toward building back some good faith, Apple reduced the battery replacement charge down to $29. That’s good. but that’s where the price needs to stay if iPhone designs remain so insular where batteries cannot be replaced by a user.
Tech writer Jason Perlow is correct:
Apple must reconsider its designs and offer versions of the iPhone with batteries that can be replaced easier and cheaper.
$29 should do it, but what impact does that have on new iPhone sales?
But I can say that some of Apple’s fans are extremely hurt, they are angry, and it could result in generational damage to the brand
That’s unlikely. Antennagate, Bendgate, Scratchgate, and all the others did little to cause even a ripple in the iPhone juggernaut. Batterygate won’t either.
I’m not mad. Mildly disappointed, perhaps. Angry, no? But Apple could ease my pain with a nice iPhone X 2018 discount.