Apple Pledges to Be 'Clearer and More Upfront' With iPhone Users About Battery Health and Performance in UK

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The UK's competition watchdog today announced that Apple has formally agreed to be "clearer and more upfront with iPhone users" about battery health and performance to ensure compliance with consumer law, as the BBC reports.


In a pledge submitted to the Competition and Markets Authority or CMA, Apple committed to several actions it has already taken, including providing consumers with "clear and comprehensible information" about lithium-ion batteries, unexpected shutdowns, and performance management in iOS and on its website.

Apple added that if a future iOS update materially changes the impact of performance management when installed on an iPhone, it will notify consumers "in a clear manner" of those changes in the release notes for the update.

The CMA raised concerns with Apple last year after the iPhone slowdown controversy of late 2017, when it was discovered that Apple introduced a performance management system in iOS 10.2.1 that could slow down iPhones with aging batteries, while only mentioning bug fixes and improvements in the release notes.

Apple eventually apologized over its lack of communication and took several steps to address the situation, including introducing an option to disable the performance management, temporarily lowering the price of iPhone replacement batteries, and adding a new Battery Health menu in iOS 11.3.

The CMA acknowledges that, since it raised its concerns, Apple has "already started to be more up front with iPhone users," but notes that today's announcement "locks the firm into formal commitments." In the event Apple were to breach any of the commitments made, the CMA may take action through the courts.

Article Link: Apple Pledges to Be 'Clearer and More Upfront' With iPhone Users About Battery Health and Performance in UK
 

TMRJIJ

macrumors 68040
Dec 12, 2011
3,247
5,415
South Carolina, United States
This will hopefully allow customers to trust them better. It was pretty shady not to inform users that their devices’ performance was gimped regardless of the intent.
Lithium-ion batteries have not made much progress in years. Tech companies needed to be 100% transparent about what their power management practices are.
 

genovelle

macrumors 65816
May 8, 2008
1,022
829
Apple eventually apologized over its lack of communication

That's an interesting way to characterize hiding a design defect from users in order to save money on a wide recall.
What design defect? Batteries deteriorate as they age and the found a way to extend the life of old devices by detecting and Preventing spikes caused by those old batteries that would end the device life altogether. You just have to love how the are forced to apologize for allowing customers to keep their devices longer. Instead of letting the die naturally. People are getting weird these days. It’s like the reason Mcdonalds doesn’t allow managers to feed the homeless with food they are throwing away at the end of the night. They would be legally responsible if the choked on a French Fry the gave them.
 

ghanwani

macrumors 68000
Dec 8, 2008
1,847
1,191
They definitely need something better. Have no idea why a battery reporting good health needs performance management. Perhaps they first need to augment the battery health function with reporting the parameters that caused performance management to be enabled.
 

gnipgnop

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2009
1,449
1,636
This continues to be one of the dumbest controversies of all-time in the tech world. Other phone manufacturers simply ignored the fact that an auto-shutdown related to low voltage supply from the battery could inconvenience users...and that turned out to be the legally preferred customer approach! Such a joke.
 

TMRJIJ

macrumors 68040
Dec 12, 2011
3,247
5,415
South Carolina, United States
Apple eventually apologized over its lack of communication

That's an interesting way to characterize hiding a design defect from users in order to save money on a wide recall.
There was no design defect. Batteries degrade in capacity overtime. When the Battery degrades to a certain point it cannot easily handle the CPU spikes which depending on the software could result in unexpected shutdowns. Apple merely added this management feature to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
They definitely need something better. Have no idea why a battery reporting good health needs performance management. Perhaps they first need to augment the battery health function with reporting the parameters that caused performance management to be enabled.
Battery Health and Battery Capacity are two different things. Degradation over time and cycles is normal regardless of the Batteries’ condition.
 

forerunnerg34

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2015
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What design defect? Batteries deteriorate as they age and the found a way to extend the life of old devices by detecting and Preventing spikes caused by those old batteries that would end the device life altogether. You just have to love how the are forced to apologize for allowing customers to keep their devices longer. Instead of letting the die naturally. People are getting weird these days. It’s like the reason Mcdonalds doesn’t allow managers to feed the homeless with food they are throwing away at the end of the night. They would be legally responsible if the choked on a French Fry the gave them.
Apple shipped defective batteries, phones were restaring not because normal battery deteriortation, but because defective batter detarioration. What would you say in that case?
 

Grey Area

macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2008
239
526
Other phone manufacturers simply ignored the fact that an auto-shutdown related to low voltage supply from the battery could inconvenience users...
How common was this, though? Honest question. In the past I have driven Androids until their battery life became too short to be of much use, and I have many things to complain about those phones, but unexpected shutdowns were never a problem. If, say, iPhones were designed "closer to the limit", with the system frequently requiring voltages that only a battery with very little degradation could deliver, then I would consider this to be at least questionable engineering.
 

trigf

macrumors regular
Jun 16, 2009
219
118
Still doesn't resolve the fact that they intentionally hid the battery degradation throttling until independent research discovered it.

Can't wait for the settlement on that class-action. I've got serial numbers of 1,100 iPhone 6 and 6S devices that we should be getting compensation for.
 
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w5jck

macrumors regular
Nov 9, 2013
193
268
Reminds me of that classic Star Trek episode from the 1960s: "I never tell the truth", and then the computer short circuited trying to compute that. About the only people who lie more than big corporate muckety-mucks are used car salesmen who are also lawyers and decide to go into politics. :D
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,261
Still doesn't resolve the fact that they intentionally hid the battery degradation throttling until independent research discovered it.

Can't wait for the settlement on that class-action. I've got serial numbers of 1,100 iPhone 6 and 6S devices that we should be getting compensation for.
Don't forget your class action lawsuit to also extend to every PowerBook and MacBook you've owned since 2001.

You know, because OS X/macOS heavily throttles the CPU if it detects your battery health is low or if the battery is unplugged. This is so CPU spikes don't accidentally turn off the device immediately. Better a slower device than one which will spontaneously cut out.

Yet somehow when the exact same thing applies for a phone - arguably, where this power management is more important to prevent shut downs in a device that's exclusively portable - it somehow becomes a crazy conspiracy so consumers are forced to upgrade.

I wish they applied that same power management to my 5S, as a phone which would randomly die when I was out-and-about was far less useful than a phone which stayed alive but was a little slower.

Apple should have been more clear about what they were doing, yes. But talk about an overreaction.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
Apple added that if a future iOS update materially changes the impact of performance management when installed on an iPhone, it will notify consumers "in a clear manner" of those changes in the release notes for the update.
This. This right here. This would have mitigated most of the uproar Apple experienced. Not all, cuz some people only operate at one speed: outrage. But most people would have understood. As is often case, the cover up tends to be worse than the crime. ← that's a phrase, not an accusation of a crime - just in case "that guy" enters the thread.;):D
 

now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
5,371
10,883
I think the key word here isnt "Pledges" but "has been forced"

Also in the news..
Apple added that if a future iOS update materially changes the impact of performance management when installed on an iPhone, it will notify consumers "in a clear manner" of those changes in the release notes for the update.
Let me take a stab at the possible boilerplate warning:

"As with all firmware updates newer versions could affect the performance of the device it is installed in"
 
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BootsWalking

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2014
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What design defect? Batteries deteriorate as they age and the found a way to extend the life of old devices by detecting and Preventing spikes caused by those old batteries that would end the device life altogether. You just have to love how the are forced to apologize for allowing customers to keep their devices longer. Instead of letting the die naturally. People are getting weird these days. It’s like the reason Mcdonalds doesn’t allow managers to feed the homeless with food they are throwing away at the end of the night. They would be legally responsible if the choked on a French Fry the gave them.
Which iPhone models prior to the 6 series had a systemic issue of shutting down during peak loads on aged batteries? And which models after the iPhone 6 series?
 
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TheShadowKnows!

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2014
857
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National Capital Region
I still cannot fathom why some in here defend Apple against consumerism laws (and "Right to Repair" laws).

The classic retort "only few customers are ..." , time and time again, is always used as a template by Apple anytime a defect calls for fundamental service actions. (Replacing the top half of a MBP is as close to fundamental as there is.)

It took the respected WSJ, via Joanna Stern, to publish a parody of the keyboard fiasco for Apple to, eventually, unveil the new keyboard "materials" and the new umbrella keyboard service program that covers all first, second, and third generation butterfly keyboards [including the new one just unveiled, Third-Generation++ ?].

 
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