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Apple is facing another probe on its iPhone "throttling" practices, this time from Arizona attorney general Mark Brnovich, reports Reuters.

iphone-6s-battery.jpg

The probe, which may also involve Texas, has been ongoing since October 2018 and is attempting to determine whether Apple's deliberate slowing of older iPhones "violated deceptive trade practice laws."

Last week, reports suggested that Texas was involved in an investigation aiming to determine whether Apple deceived customers, though no other information was available at the time. It's likely that the probe in Arizona is linked to the Texas report, with both states looking into Apple's 2017 iPhone slowdown practices.

As many MacRumors readers know, Apple in iOS 10.2.1 (which was released in early 2017) introduced a performance management system designed to eliminate unexpected shutdowns by throttling the maximum performance of iPhones with chemically aged batteries.

Apple did not disclose how its power management system worked, leading to customer outrage when it was discovered iPhone performance was being downgraded. Apple said that this was to make sure that the iPhone lasted as long as possible, even as the battery failed.

After it was discovered that Apple was limiting iPhone performance, Apple apologized and ultimately launched a battery replacement program that saw the company offering replacement batteries for older devices for $29. Replacing a failing battery successfully resolves the problem that leads to shutdowns, which is why power was limited by Apple in the first place.

In addition to offering low-cost battery replacements for a year, Apple has also agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle a class action lawsuit over the issue.

Apple's performance management system is now disabled by default and it turns on only if an iPhone suffers an unexpected shutdown. Even then, it can be disabled, and Apple also provides much more detailed information on battery health so customers can opt for a replacement when necessary.

Article Link: Arizona Attorney General Leading Multi-State Probe on Apple iPhone Throttling
 
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lkalliance

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2015
1,365
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for fixing a problem of iPhones shutting down during use? The only thing they did wrong was not shout it from the hills. All this info was in the description of the iOS update.
Anecdotally, that's not the only thing it did wrong. SUPPOSEDLY many people would go into an Apple Store complaining of a slowing phone and were directed by Apple staff that the way to fix that was to get a new phone. Anecdotal evidence is problematic. Is that what was really recommended? Did the sales staff perhaps mention a battery replacement but the buyer shrugged it off? We don't know. Just that anecdotally, Apple not only didn't mention the feature but used its invisibility to turn people to the more expensive(/profitable) fix.

For what it's worth.


ADDED: It's also quite possible that the Apple Store clerks were also not aware of the feature (it was hidden, after all), and so directing users to consider a new phone would be the appropriate thing to suggest...which doesn't remove the issue at all, just kicks it further up the chain of command.
 

TrevorR90

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2009
379
297
for fixing a problem of iPhones shutting down during use? The only thing they did wrong was not shout it from the hills. All this info was in the description of the iOS update.

Wait are you being serious? I'm one that didn't care about the throttling issue as I supported the idea of throttling to save power but was it really in the description?

Anecdotally, that's not the only thing it did wrong. SUPPOSEDLY many people would go into an Apple Store complaining of a slowing phone and were directed by Apple staff that the way to fix that was to get a new phone. Anecdotal evidence is problematic. Is that what was really recommended? Did the sales staff perhaps mention a battery replacement but the buyer shrugged it off? We don't know. Just that anecdotally, Apple not only didn't mention the feature but used its invisibility to turn people to the more expensive(/profitable) fix.

For what it's worth.

Yeah and wasn't part of it that iphone users didn't know if they were being throttled due to battery life being less than ideal?
 

kiranmk2

macrumors 68000
Oct 4, 2008
1,562
2,083
Apple definitely hid this - if it was accurately described in the update notes then tech sites would have featured it at the time and listed a battery replacement as a way to maintain speed. The fact that the tech sites were as surprised as anyone when the story broke tells a big story.

I don't think Apple did anything wrong by doing change, but they did do wrong by not telling people this was how iOS worked - as mentioned above, lots of people probably upgraded to new phones completely unaware that a $79 option would make their device speedy again.
 

beckermanex

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2019
3
1
Oh for God's sake. There's really nothing more important to worry about in Arizona right now? Apple should brick the AGs iPhone so it doesn't unexpectedly turn off.

As a resident of Arizona, this is the most Arizona news. But yes, we do have more to worry about than this right now, much more. I should say I'm surprised....but, well. Not so much.
 
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brandon87

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2019
44
40
Phoenix
Yea.. so I reside in Arizona and i think we have bigger issues than this with our state... can he focus on something actually important... ?
 

iBluetooth

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2016
684
1,882
Apple definitely hid this - if it was accurately described in the update notes then tech sites would have featured it at the time and listed a battery replacement as a way to maintain speed. The fact that the tech sites were as surprised as anyone when the story broke tells a big story.

I don't think Apple did anything wrong by doing change, but they did do wrong by not telling people this was how iOS worked - as mentioned above, lots of people probably upgraded to new phones completely unaware that a $79 option would make their device speedy again.
I think a lot of journalists and people just didn't understand the engineering challenge of ageing batteries and thought that Apple purposefully slowed down the phone, so they would buy a new one. Instead they were allowing the CPU to adopt to weaker ageing batteries and people got angry, like they would rather have an unusable phone, because it would turn off if the CPU required too much power. And it's also Apples fault to settle many of these cases and thus everyone follows the money and sues them.
 

BigMcGuire

Cancelled
Jan 10, 2012
9,832
14,028
This just wasn't aged batteries. I tell my experience every time these threads come up:


My wife and I have the same phones, we buy them at the same time - the same phones, and use them for a few years then upgrade.

Our 6s+ phones started out identical... and less than 3 months into ownership, my wife's 6s+ would last significantly less than my 6s+ with near identical usage (walking in the park doing Ingress). It was about 4-5 months in that her phone started shutting off during high usage events (such as Ingress, Facebook, etc).

6 months into ownership her phone would restart handfuls of times on a mile walk in the park. All the while her battery life was 3x worse. CoconutBattery would show capacity at 40%, 60%, 80%, randomly depending on when I'd measure.

We took it to the Apple Store only for her phone to repeatedly fail the diagnostic test but the tech, frustrated, threw up his hands and said: "Sorry, I can't help you, her battery is green."

So we paid, out of pocket, for the $80 battery replacement which solved all her problems.

Granted, Apple refunded $55 of that... but ... there were CLEARLY a batch of bad batteries that went out and Apple tried to mitigate it by lowering CPU voltage to help reduce rebooting.
 

Macropanda

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2014
159
947
I really don’t get the issue here. If you have a car and the engine has a problem the car can go into limp mode with reduced performance to protect the engine. No one is mad about this?!?
The exact same thing happens in phones and some people are going mad about it.
 

PlayUltimate

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2016
952
1,762
Boulder, CO
I really don’t get the issue here. If you have a car and the engine has a problem the car can go into limp mode with reduced performance to protect the engine. No one is mad about this?!?
The exact same thing happens in phones and some people are going mad about it.

People don't understand electronics or engineering or software.

I often receive my brother's opinion about how easy it is to do software changes. "I just want them to add a button. . . ." ?
 
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