Technology

Apple expresses regret for slower iPhones

by DIPO OLADEINDE

December 29, 2017 | 2:05 pm
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Apple chief executive Tim Cook apologized to customers Thursday for not being clear that the company slows down phones with aging batteries. Cook promised that, in the future, Apple will “give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery” and let people see if their battery’s age affects their phone’s performance.

The apology comes after Apple admitted to slowing down the iPhone 6, 6S, 7 and special edition (SE) when their batteries are either old, cold or have a low charge to prevent abrupt shutdowns.

The multinational technology company founded in 1 April 1976 said the problem was that ageing lithium batteries delivered power unevenly, which could cause iPhones to shut down unexpectedly – endangering the delicate circuits inside.

While Cook’s message was apologetic, he still rejected allegations that Apple slowed down phones with older batteries as a way to push people into buying new phones. “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,” he said.

The US tech company also announced a $50 (£37) reduction in the cost of iPhone battery replacements, down from $79 to $29, and an iOS (operating system) software update providing updates on iPhone battery health in early 2018.

IPhone owners have long believed Apple artificially slows down older phones to drive new sales. But the new information from Apple about performance management further deteriorates the situation, leading to a lot of bad press and multiple lawsuits. What made it all seem worse is that the scope of the performance penalty only came to light after being discovered by a developer instead of being clearly disclosed by Apple.

Apple’s disclosure last week that it slows down phones has sparked much criticism and a string of lawsuits. A French consumer rights group filed a suit on Dec. 27 that accuses Apple of degrading its old phones in order to sell new ones. In France, it’s illegal to degrade old products to promote the sale of new ones, meaning that the suit filed in France by the group Halte à l’Obsolescence Programmee is the only lawsuit that carries the possibility of up to two years in prison.

Apple also faces at least eight lawsuits from iPhone owners in places including California, New York, New Jersey and even Israel that claim Apple owes its customers money for not previously disclosing the slowdowns. The suits ask the company to pay iPhone owners varying amounts. One California suit seeks nearly $1 trillion in damages.

With its headquarters is located in Cupertino, California, United States, the company market capitalisation rose to $868bn in November, making it the world’s most valuable publicly-traded company.

“At Apple, our customers’ trust means everything to us. We will never stop working to earn and maintain it. We are able

to do the work we love only because of your faith and support – and we will never forget that or take it for granted,” He added.

News emerged during the week that the tech giant’s chief executive Tim Cook had been ordered by the firm to only use private jets for both business and personal transport for security reasons.

In November, Apple was forced to release an update to fix a security issue with its Mac operating system that made it possible to gain entry to a device and administrative powers without a password.

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by DIPO OLADEINDE

December 29, 2017 | 2:05 pm
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

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