Apple Being Sued for 'Purposefully Slowing Down Older iPhone Models' [Updated]

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple yesterday confirmed that it has implemented power management features in older iPhones to improve performance and prevent unexpected shutdowns as the battery in the devices starts to degrade, and this admission has now led to a class action lawsuit, which was first noticed by TMZ.

    Los Angeles residents Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas, represented by Wilshire Law Firm, this morning filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California accusing Apple of slowing down their older iPhone models when new models come out.

    According to the lawsuit, Bogdanovich and Speas have owned the iPhone 7 and several older iPhone models and have noticed that their "older iPhone models slows (sic) down when new models come out." The two say they did not consent to have Apple slow down their devices, nor were they able to "choose whether they preferred to have their iPhones slower than normal."

    They're seeking both California and Nationwide class action certification, which would cover all persons residing in the United States who have owned iPhone models older than the iPhone 8.

    Apple yesterday addressed speculation that it throttles the performance of older iPhones with degraded batteries, confirming that there are power management features in place to attempt to prolong the life of the iPhone and its battery. Apple implemented these features last year in iOS 10.2.1.

    When an iPhone's battery health starts to decline, the battery is not capable of supplying enough power to the iPhone in times of peak processor usage, which can lead to shutdowns, Apple says.
    The lawsuit seemingly misrepresents Apple's original statement and suggests the plaintiffs and their lawyers do not understand Apple's explanation for how iPhone power management features work and why they were implemented, given the lawsuit's suggestion that it's tied to the release of new devices. As explained by Apple, when certain iPhone models hit a peak of processor power, a degraded battery is sometimes unable to provide enough juice, leading to a shutdown. Apple says it "smooths out" these peaks by limiting the power draw from the battery or by spreading power requests over several cycles.

    Lithium-ion batteries degrade over time by nature, and this eventual wearing out addressed by the power management features is unrelated to the release of new iPhone models.

    Apple does not deny that iPhones with older batteries can sometimes see slower performance, but power management is a feature that Apple says has been implemented to improve overall performance by preventing an iPhone from shutting down completely rather than a feature that's been implemented to force users to upgrade by deliberately slowing devices.

    As many people have suggested, Apple has done a poor job of explaining why it has implemented these power management features and how the state of the battery ultimately affects iPhone performance. More transparent information about battery health should be provided, and customers should be better informed when their batteries start to degrade so they can choose whether or not to pay for a replacement. Apple may also need to relax its policies on when customers can pay for a battery replacement, as currently, a battery can't be replaced unless in-store equipment registers it as near failing.

    An iPhone's battery is designed to retain 80 percent of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles. A defective battery that does not meet those parameters can be replaced for free for customers who have AppleCare+ or who have devices still under warranty.

    For out of warranty customers, Apple offers a battery replacement service, which costs $79 plus $6.95 for shipping.

    The lawsuit is demanding the replacement of the old iPhone and compensation for loss of use, loss of value, the purchase of new batteries, ascertainable losses in the form of the deprivation of the value of the iPhone, and overpayments because Plaintiffs and Class Members "did not receive what they paid for" when Apple interfered with the usage of their iPhones.

    Additional class action lawsuits have been filed against Apple in Chicago, New York, and Northern California. All three lawsuits allege that Apple slowed down iPhones in an effort to get customers to upgrade to new devices.

    Article Link: Apple Being Sued for 'Purposefully Slowing Down Older iPhone Models' [Updated]
  2. chatin macrumors 6502a


    May 27, 2005
    About time. What they are doing is highly unethical. Their involvement with my property stops after payment.
  3. thasan macrumors 65816

    Oct 19, 2007
  4. penajmz macrumors 68040


    Sep 11, 2008
    New York City
  5. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Unethical? :confused:
  7. teknikal90 macrumors 68040


    Jan 28, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Good. This could all be avoided if apple instead put in higher quality battery cells (apple watch's battery life is 1000 cycles), or if they make it easier to replace the batteries.
  8. applepuree macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2014
    Simple. dont upgrade the software.

    Of course Apple could implement a "Turn of battery management" switch, then all the complainers can complain their iphones shut down instead.
  9. mcarland macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2016
    Oh, they understand what Apple said. Just fishing for some easy cash.

    Get a list of everyone that joins the class, and send them an update to remove the throttling. They'll be back.
  10. kwikdeth, Dec 21, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017

    kwikdeth macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    the easiest solution would be to continue to provide software updates (bug fixes and security patches) for existing iOS releases, rather than forcing users to update to the latest & greatest iOS to receive bug fixes and security patches. that gives people the choice to upgrade, receive newer features, and accept the performance loss, or stay with the existing iOS, receive only security patches, and continue to get the performance of the device, as purchased.
  11. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    Hate to urinate in your chips, but battery technology is consistent between all manufacturers and it sucks.
  12. JRobinsonJr macrumors 6502a

    Aug 20, 2015
    Arlington, Texas
    ... and if your phone shut down periodically you would be complaning about that. What Apple is doing is smart. Where they failed is being transparaent.
  13. CerebralX macrumors 6502


    Jun 28, 2013
    Looking for a place of freedom and rationality
    Who said they were doing it only when newer models came out???
  14. macTW Suspended

    Oct 17, 2016
    Users: “why you slow our phones down?!”

    Apple: “your battery can’t hold the charge necessary for some tasks. We want you to use your phone for longer.”

    Users: “can you believe Apple just wants us to buy more phones?! Let’s sue!!”
  15. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    With a show of hands, who didn't see this coming from a mile away?

    <no hands seen for miles>
  16. Joe h macrumors regular

    Sep 22, 2017
    In the end a coupon(likely a couple hundred off a new iPhone purchase) will be sent to former iPhone owners.
  17. SDJim macrumors member


    Aug 4, 2017
    San Diego, CA
    "The lawsuit is demanding the replacement of the old iPhone..."

    These dudes sure are thirsty for that iPhone X...
  18. ipponrg macrumors 65816

    Oct 15, 2008
    Just FYI - that actually is the hardest solution. Supporting deprecated software means you need to allocate more resources (devs, test, time, etc).
  19. djcerla macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2015
  20. Jmausmuc macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2014
    Why do people on here with iPhone 4S and a battery that’s 50% degraded still have full speed?

    Looks like this wasn’t an issue before the iPhone 6, and all previous iPhones also used batteries.
  21. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    This was clearly inevitable and I'm surprised the story hasn't blown up even more.

    They can't go around saying their processors trounce SnapDragon's and give specified speed improvements over their previous models when they only perform at the advertised speeds for a year or so. The whole narrative has been false. John Gruber's response was totally uncritical in its thinking. It's not about whether they are intentionally trying to force people to upgrade. It's about whether the product was sold with the specifications it was advertised to have.

    And there is so much missing in Apple's explanation about this being about balancing battery vs. performance. If that were the case, why does my fourth generation iPod touch work quickly and without random shutdowns? It's so old I can't even put a number of years on it.

    There is either bad battery tech that is particular to Apple's phones or they have designed processors that require a power source that is unsustainable in a phone.
  22. osaga macrumors 6502

    Jun 11, 2012
    I did not consent to have my battery degrade over time, nor did I consent to allow Apple software to intelligently adjust to its degradation.
  23. Susurs, Dec 21, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017

    Susurs macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2010
    There are way more ‘user friendly’ options if Apple’s goal was to prevent battery issuses... for example, allowing users to control this ‘feature’ (on/off), or downclocking the phone @ only when it goes down to 20% battery charge or so...

    Ths is what court would probably evaluate...

    Looking from another aspect...there is a global economy - it is ‘supposed’ to be good when people buy more phones, it creates more demand, production, jobs etc. Not end user friendly but...somebody will defend this position as well...
  24. kildraik, Dec 21, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017

    kildraik macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2006
    Where I understand Apple’s point of view, they’ve shuffled my level of trust from “bulletproof,” to “buyer beware.” I fully understand why, however the principle of the omission, their white lie, is what hits me.

    Could this be why they’ve suddenly been so “helpfully vocal,” on other areas of company performance? Did they know they were going to be found out?

    Even though I’ve always upgraded just to have what’s new, I’m pretty sure that ends here and now. I’m not interested in being a part of that.

    Unfortunately for Apple, most will read this elsewhere on news outlets, not understand the purpose behind this event, and there will be an uproar. Maybe this will spur innovation from other companies, possibly even startups, and it should. Here’s hoping.
  25. farewelwilliams macrumors 68020

    Jun 18, 2014
    uh, it's everywhere.

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