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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple will pay $3.4 million in Chile to settle a lawsuit that accused the Cupertino company of programming a limited lifespan into some of its products to force consumers to upgrade.


150,000 iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE owners sued Apple over the same "iPhone Slowdown" issue that Apple has been battling since 2017. Registered participants in Chile can get a maximum of $50.

Apple in 2017 released iOS 10.2.1 with a feature that throttled the performance of older iPhones with degrading batteries to prevent device shutdowns at peak usage times. Apple did not make it clear that mitigating these shutdowns would require device performance to be scaled back, which led to significant consumer upset and a series of lawsuits that Apple is still dealing with today.

The iOS 10.2.1 update and subsequent updates that have introduced measures to preserve battery life are aimed at making iPhones last as long as possible even when battery health declines, but Apple has had a tough time convincing the world that it's not crippling iPhones to make people spend more money.

Apple offered a worldwide battery replacement program with affordable battery upgrades for devices with degraded batteries and it also introduced new battery health features in iOS.

Apple has faced similar lawsuits in Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Portugal. Apple has already settled a class action lawsuit in the United States, shelling out between $310 and $500 million, and a state-led investigation into throttling that cost it $113 million.

Article Link: Apple Shells Out $3.4 Million to Chileans to Settle Planned Obsolescence Lawsuit
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macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2006
Regarding the performance throttling when having 'old' batteries, yes I agree this is a form of planned obsolescence, even though the intention behind this is not to lower performance, it's to fix stability problems.

But other than that?
Apple was the only one on the market to support their phones with major updates for 5 years, and now Apple is even more alone in supporting their phones for 6 years. I mean, the iPhone 6s runs iOS 14 perfectly and it's been released in September 2015. Who else does that?


macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
this is just legalized extortion
Sorta, more like cost-of-doing-business for fortune 100 companies. You don't get to make north of a quarter-trillion dollars in revenue every year, with your hands in nearly every cookie jar of the world economy, without ruffling some feathers and paying some bs fines here and there. It's been true for the entirety of human civilization.
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macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2020
Still using my 8 Plus with its original battery (Maximum Capacity = 97%) on iOS 14.4.2, purchased it in 02/2019, it's still very fast, nothing to complain about, it's not much slower on basic tasks than my 2020 iPad Pro.
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macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
Central Texas
I think the iPhone SE 2020 was a way for Apple to not be sued like this again. In years past they really did make products they knew weren't going to last because of future updates. Now they'll give you a phone that can handle several updates, it just wont come with any flagship features and have the absolute oldest design possible while not being made a laughing stock for it. I own an SE 2020 and other than the screen being too small everything else is fine so much so that I will probably end up upgrading not because I have to because of slowdowns, but because I want more and can pay for more when I choose. Or when they come out with a bigger SE. Point is before upgrading was needed because the phone became a shell of itself, now that does not seem to be the case. There is plenty of money to be made selling a capable low end devices. If they weren't so afraid of cannibalizing their own higher margin products with lower end products that can handle 90% of what you normally do with a phone or computer they would be the worlds best low end device maker.


macrumors 603
Jul 29, 2002
Vancouver, BC
Apple could have been forthcoming and open with the throttling from day 1, instead of obscuring it from users until they got caught.

I still think this was not intentional. I don't think they sat around a table and agreed to "keep this feature a secret". I just think they were trying to offer optimizations to the operating system.... and we get optimizations with *every single update*. This was just a bigger one that had noticable side-effects and they didn't communicate it properly. Lesson learned.

Many human beings like to complain when they get a chance to. Victim mentality. ("Apple, you are evil! You made my phone run slower! You are trying to get me to buy a new phone!" ... blah blah blah)

Jerry Fritschle

macrumors regular
Mar 30, 2004
No good deed goes unpunished. Apple made their phones last longer by slowing imperceptibly as their batteries got old. That’s the exact opposite of planned obsolescence. You got the most life possible out of phones from Apple, still do.
While I agree, the bad look came from their lousy PR about this.
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macrumors 68040
Sep 15, 2012
Why so upset?? Apple prides itself in "following the laws of the nations it operates in" while doing the bidding of the Chinese. So, if following local laws is a good enough reason to turn a blind eye to what's happening in China, then $3.4 million to the Chileans should not be a problem.


macrumors 6502
Sep 30, 2006
the thing about everyone saying that apple was just trying to improve the user experience by throttling is that for the life of me i can't remember the 'problem' of phones spontaneously shutting down as something that anyone ever complained about. there was antennagate ('you're holding it wrong') and bendghazi but not once was there a 'scandal' about unexpected shutdown-gate.

can anyone point out some articles talking about this problem before the throttling came to light?


macrumors 6502
Jul 16, 2020
How does limited lifespan equate to a phone running longer, even when under power management? And how does that equate to planned obsolescence?

If my memory is correct, certain batch of iPhone 6S was using subpar battery. Apple had recall program for iPhone 6S.

I mean, by the time battery performance management thing started, which was iOS 10.2... iPhone 6 was around two years old and iPhone 6S was around one year.

Therefore, I think if Apple has to implement battery performance management for a two year or one year old battery, then battery quality is questionable. Therefore, you can also conclude Apple was using subpar quality components in order to purposely shorten iPhone’s life span, so they can get new sales.

But, I know you won’t agree and many others here won’t.

If Apple choose to settle, it is to me, they are acknowledging the guilt. If Apple truly think they are doing no wrong, they have time and resources to fight in court.


macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2014
They're still doing planned obsolescence by forcing to upgrade or not allowing downgrade to previous IOS version. My iPhone X was able to retain more than 5 apps in the background memory before the two IOS updates. Now it can barely do 3. Safari refreshes way earlier than before and etc.
Also, battery is just one (weak) excuse of throttling the device. The fact that they did so without letting the users know was the issue here.
I'm really suspicious of those who are just siding with Apple on their wrong doing.. Any reasonable fan would want their favorite company to do the right thing.
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