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Italy Fining Apple 10M Euros for 'Dishonest Commercial Practices' Related to iPhone Throttling

840quadra

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Feb 1, 2005
8,204
3,492
Twin Cities Minnesota
No internal memos, just an abundance of common sense.

Do you think it benefits Apple’s bottom line to have customers feel the need to upgrade their iPhones as much as possible? Do you think Apple’s failure to disclose made customers feel that their only choices were to live with a hobbled iPhone, or buy a new one? Do you think Apple accidentally failed to disclose the minor detail of a new battery making the hobbled iPhones function as-new? Do you think Apple was unhappy that their customers felt the need to buy new iPhones? Do you think a company as controlling as Apple would leave have proof of their devious intentions just sitting around somewhere?

Like I said, common sense.

You are again evading my direct question. Wouldn't it make sense for Apple to stop supporting phones after 2 years of age like is common practice in the Android ecosystem? The fact that they support phones from 2013 (5 years ago) refutes your personal hypothesis of forced obsolescence.


Apple offering deep discounts for battery replacements on older phones refutes your claims of forced obsolescence.

Apple offering software updates and parts replacements for these devices refutes your claims of forced obsolescence.

Apple continuing to offer (slightly higher priced) batteries and parts after Jan 1 2019 also refutes your claims of forced obsolescence.

Apple not placing the iPhone 5s ( 5+ yo device) into vintage or obsolete status refutes your claims of forced obsolescence.

All Common sense™

While Apple is far from perfect, and they have done many things I dislike, I see nothing more than a failure in disclosure in this matter. I believe their intentions were genuine, though would have easily been resolved if they disclosed battery saving performance throttling when they first implemented it.

If you can name a major consumer electronics company that hasn't made some type of mistake in the past decade, I am all ears. No company is perfect, many fail to even acknowledge their mistakes in the way Apple did.

This move will just make Apple and Samsung stop supporting and offering updates for older devices.
What older devices does Samsung support?
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44316364

Apple has made a stance to support older devices, this is clear in the release of iOS 12 that put focus on keeping older devices operational longer, and their recent green initiative of keeping older devices operating and out of landfills longer.
 
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IbisDoc

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2010
508
347
You are again evading my direct question. Wouldn't it make sense for Apple to stop supporting phones after 2 years of age like is common practice in the Android ecosystem? The fact that they support phones from 2013 (5 years ago) refutes your personal hypothesis of forced obsolescence.


Apple offering deep discounts for battery replacements on older phones refutes your claims of forced obsolescence.

Apple offering software updates and parts replacements for these devices refutes your claims of forced obsolescence.

Apple continuing to offer (slightly higher priced) batteries and parts after Jan 1 2019 also refutes your claims of forced obsolescence.

Apple not placing the iPhone 5s ( 5+ yo device) into vintage or obsolete status refutes your claims of forced obsolescence.

All Common sense™

While Apple is far from perfect, and they have done many things I dislike, I see nothing more than a failure in disclosure in this matter. I believe their intentions were genuine, though would have easily been resolved if they disclosed battery saving performance throttling when they first implemented it.

If you can name a major consumer electronics company that hasn't made some type of mistake in the past decade, I am all ears. No company is perfect, many fail to even acknowledge their mistakes in the way Apple did.


What older devices does Samsung support?
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44316364

Apple has made a stance to support older devices, this is clear in the release of iOS 12 that put focus on keeping older devices operational longer, and their recent green initiative of keeping older devices operating and out of landfills longer.

You realize they were FORCED (by the negative publicity, and threat of lawsuits and government intervention) to do all of those supposedly altruistic things you highlight, right? Until their shady practices were brought to light (you remember the story on your own board), they were pretty happy that people felt the need to frequently upgrade to have a non-hobbled iPhone.

And you're missing the point. It's not just the failure to disclose the throttling. It's also the failure to disclose that a battery replacement would restore the phone to as-new condition, or to make that option readily available to people who wanted it.

As for your mistakes comment, this was criminal, not an honest mistake. And why would I discuss other companies on MacRumors? Last time I checked, Apple leadership considers its company unique and special, and doesn't hesitate to tell us whenever possible.
 
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tromboneaholic

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You realize they were FORCED (by the negative publicity, and threat of lawsuits and government intervention) to do all of those supposedly altruistic things you highlight, right? Until their shady practices were brought to light (you remember the story on your own board), they were pretty happy that people felt the need to frequently upgrade to have a non-hobbled iPhone.

And you're missing the point. It's not just the failure to disclose the throttling. It's also the failure to disclose that a battery replacement would restore the phone to as-new condition, or to make that option readily available to people who wanted it.

As for your mistakes comment, this was criminal, not an honest mistake. And why would I discuss other companies on MacRumors? Last time I checked, Apple leadership considers its company unique and special, and doesn't hesitate to tell us whenever possible.
The longer iPhones are supported and usable, the more subscribers they will have for subscription services.

Why is it so hard to understand that the right thing to do can also be profitable?
 
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840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,204
3,492
Twin Cities Minnesota
You realize they were FORCED (by the negative publicity, and threat of lawsuits and government intervention) to do all of those supposedly altruistic things you highlight, right? Until their shady practices were brought to light (you remember the story on your own board), they were pretty happy that people felt the need to frequently upgrade to have a non-hobbled iPhone.

And you're missing the point. It's not just the failure to disclose the throttling. It's also the failure to disclose that a battery replacement would restore the phone to as-new condition, or to make that option readily available to people who wanted it.

As for your mistakes comment, this was criminal, not an honest mistake. And why would I discuss other companies on MacRumors? Last time I checked, Apple leadership considers its company unique and special, and doesn't hesitate to tell us whenever possible.
Because we don’t live in a vacuum, that’s why we discuss other companies.


Altruistic? Possibly, but your argument takes about a year away from my point which is still well bolstered.

How is it forced obsolescence when parts and support exist?

When the news about throttling came
Out, the 5s was already over 4 years old, still supported, had parts available, and wasn’t considered obsolete by Apple. This continues to refute your claim and argument claiming forced obsolescence.

Sorry you don’t see that. We agree to disagree.
 
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tromboneaholic

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You realize they were FORCED (by the negative publicity, and threat of lawsuits and government intervention) to do all of those supposedly altruistic things you highlight, right? Until their shady practices were brought to light (you remember the story on your own board), they were pretty happy that people felt the need to frequently upgrade to have a non-hobbled iPhone.

And you're missing the point. It's not just the failure to disclose the throttling. It's also the failure to disclose that a battery replacement would restore the phone to as-new condition, or to make that option readily available to people who wanted it.

As for your mistakes comment, this was criminal, not an honest mistake. And why would I discuss other companies on MacRumors? Last time I checked, Apple leadership considers its company unique and special, and doesn't hesitate to tell us whenever possible.
After re-reading your post, you seem to be saying that a company would intentionally create a negative experience as a ploy to retain customers?

It defies logic.
 
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IbisDoc

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2010
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After re-reading your post, you seem to be saying that a company would intentionally create a negative experience as a ploy to retain customers?

It defies logic.

No, I seem to be saying that a US company would take advantage of its customers that are highly invested in its ecosystem by creating a less positive experience in order to drive upgrades of the main driver of its profit. That’s corporate America, and it’s perfectly logical. Not sure why the concept is so revolutionary to you.
 
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Substance90

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2011
422
571
To be fair, they do need the money with their economy in meltdown and a new populist government that wants to expand debt further.

I don't really get why governments sue Apple or any corporation for money, this is a consumer issue and a consumer lawsuit pays back the consumers that were affected by deceptive corporate practices.

When a government sues a corporation it's just a cash grab. Nothing goes back to the consumer in these cases.
I can see how this can be weird to an American but in Europe we generally don't let corporations do whatever they want. It's called regulation and consumer protection.
 
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recoil80

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Jul 16, 2014
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It is funny because sometimes Italy fines carriers for misleading advertisements or unfair business practices and they have to pay fines for less than a million. 10M for Apple is nothing, as 1M is nothing for a carrier with 20 millions customers. I don't think they needed to fine Apple for this particular matter but the amount is so low it is worthless.
 
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tromboneaholic

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No, I seem to be saying that a US company would take advantage of its customers that are highly invested in its ecosystem by creating a less positive experience in order to drive upgrades of the main driver of its profit. That’s corporate America, and it’s perfectly logical. Not sure why the concept is so revolutionary to you.
So if you have a car that doesn't perform well, you buy the same brand of car again?
 
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dialogos

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2017
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So if you have a car that doesn't perform well, you buy the same brand of car again?

Generalisations don't help. Some of us like Apple products that's why we buy them. That doesn't mean that we can't judge Apple for bad practices. Battery throttling was a fact and lot of consumers (like myself) have been affected and dishonestly treated by Apple (ex when Apple refused! to change my battery and they offered as the only solution to my slow iPhone 6 an upgrade to iPhone 7 )
 
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tromboneaholic

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Generalisations don't help. Some of us like Apple products that's why we buy them. That doesn't mean that we can't judge Apple for bad practices. Battery throttling was a fact and lot of consumers (like myself) have been affected and dishonestly treated by Apple (ex when Apple refused! to change my battery and they offered as the only solution to my slow iPhone 6 an upgrade to iPhone 7 )
Why did they refuse to change your battery?
 
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dialogos

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Sep 22, 2017
140
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Why did they refuse to change your battery?

I have already mentioned my experience.

My iPhone and my wife's phone battery wouldn't last as long as when we bought our devices. Therefore I thought of replacing my battery to a new one. We were refused a battery replacement because according to Apple's diagnostics the battery was just fine (something like above 80% capacity - don't remember) I have also mentioned that I never asked for a free battery. On the contrary I knew pretty much that I would have to pay around 80 euros.

My phone was also slow. I had no idea that there was a connection to the battery back then. Same store when I asked them if there something I can do about my iPhone because it was too slow after I updated to the new iOS they told me that the only solution was to buy a new phone. They never mentioned that replacing the battery would give a new breath to the device!

Finally my experience after the "scandal". I did replace my battery and my phone got much faster and usable. Meanwhile I had already updated to a new iPhone because of Apple's suggestion and because I need a properly working device.
 
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tromboneaholic

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I have already mentioned my experience.

My iPhone and my wife's phone battery wouldn't last as long as when we bought our devices. Therefore I thought of replacing my battery to a new one. We were refused a battery replacement because according to Apple's diagnostics the battery was just fine (something like above 80% capacity - don't remember) I have also mentioned that I never asked for a free battery. On the contrary I knew pretty much that I would have to pay around 80 euros.

My phone was also slow. I had no idea that there was a connection to the battery back then. Same store when I asked them if there something I can do about my iPhone because it was too slow after I updated to the new iOS they told me that the only solution was to buy a new phone. They never mentioned that replacing the battery would give a new breath to the device!

Finally my experience after the "scandal". I did replace my battery and my phone got much faster and usable. Meanwhile I had already updated to a new iPhone because of Apple's suggestion and because I need a properly working device.
So was it Apple that finally replaced your battery? If so, it's weird they wouldn't replace the battery before. I don't know your situation, but I don't think I would have taken "no" for an answer.
 
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I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
24,218
12,396
Gotta be in it to win it
No, I seem to be saying that a US company would take advantage of its customers that are highly invested in its ecosystem by creating a less positive experience in order to drive upgrades of the main driver of its profit. That’s corporate America, and it’s perfectly logical. Not sure why the concept is so revolutionary to you.
What’s revolutionary is that companies who screw over their companies, wi d up like Enron or Bernie Madoff. Not Apple. Apple didn’t get to $1T by screwing their customers.

What you post is not logical in the least. Great value for shareholders by companies screwing their customers. Right.
 
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dialogos

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2017
140
159
So was it Apple that finally replaced your battery? If so, it's weird they wouldn't replace the battery before. I don't know your situation, but I don't think I would have taken "no" for an answer.

Good for you but I'm not planning to have a fight with people at stores. And Yes it was apple that eventually changed my battery after the scandal and after I had already purchased a new iPhone.

If you haven't noticed I'm not the only one who was refused battery replacement by Apple. Lots of people mentioned similar experiences.

There are lot of customers accusing Apple of misleading them to purchase a new phone instead of just replacing a battery. I think the case in Italy makes total sense and I'm siding here with the decision. I really don't understand why people keep defending in a religious way Apple here.
 
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I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
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Gotta be in it to win it
I have already mentioned my experience.

My iPhone and my wife's phone battery wouldn't last as long as when we bought our devices. Therefore I thought of replacing my battery to a new one. We were refused a battery replacement because according to Apple's diagnostics the battery was just fine (something like above 80% capacity - don't remember) I have also mentioned that I never asked for a free battery. On the contrary I knew pretty much that I would have to pay around 80 euros.

My phone was also slow. I had no idea that there was a connection to the battery back then. Same store when I asked them if there something I can do about my iPhone because it was too slow after I updated to the new iOS they told me that the only solution was to buy a new phone. They never mentioned that replacing the battery would give a new breath to the device!

Finally my experience after the "scandal". I did replace my battery and my phone got much faster and usable. Meanwhile I had already updated to a new iPhone because of Apple's suggestion and because I need a properly working device.
So you voluntarily updated to a new phone because Apple suggested it. Do you update to a new car because a car company suggested it?
 
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dialogos

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2017
140
159
So you voluntarily updated to a new phone because Apple suggested it. Do you update to a new car because a car company suggested it?

Seriously this is what you make of my comment? You're ignoring the fact they didn't change my battery? Would you like to comment on that instead of judging my choices? What about the fact that Apple suggested to customers to upgrade their phones instead of replacing their batteries??? Care to say something???

Despite the fact those car analogies are just idiotic, when it comes to my phone which was very slow OF COURSE I upgraded because they told me it's the only solution in order to have a better working phone. It was extremely slow! I have my contact list, calendar, patient details in my apple devices.

So now that you know my personal experience your problem still is about my decision or about how apple mislead a customer?

This is just nonsense....
[doublepost=1540555219][/doublepost]
Now that’s victim blaming. I was very polite during my travels.

What you said about Italy is just unrealistic. I'm there 3-4 times / year !! Half of the Italians you met tried to screw you? Come on... :)
 
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IbisDoc

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LOL at these dumb comparisons to buying a car. Focus the discussion on you, know, the iPhone.
 
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I7guy

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Nov 30, 2013
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Gotta be in it to win it
Seriously this is what you make of my comment?
Absolutely, it looks ludicrous on the face of it. Personally instead of spending $$$ on a phone I would be evaluating my options. I had the same scenario on my 6s and Apple wound up by replacing the battery. I didn’t get a new phone.

You're ignoring the fact they didn't change my battery? Would you like to comment on that instead of judging my choices?
My comment above should cover this.

What about the fact that Apple suggested to customers to upgrade their phones instead of replacing their batteries??? Care to say something???
This directly dovetails into the car analogy.

Despite the fact those car analogies are just idiotic, when it comes to my phone which was very slow OF COURSE I upgraded because they told me it's the only solution in order to have a better working phone. It was extremely slow! I have my contact list, calendar, patient details in my apple devices.

So now that you know my personal experience your problem still is about my decision or about how apple mislead a customer?
...
You didn’t say what phone you had, but my antenna goes up when anybody suggests I spend money to get a new something to resolve an issue with an old something, in most cases.

Substitution of a car for iPhone, shows on the face of it how we fall for this type of stuff and then blame the vendor.
 
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KPandian1

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Oct 22, 2013
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Seriously this is what you make of my comment? You're ignoring the fact they didn't change my battery? Would you like to comment on that instead of judging my choices? What about the fact that Apple suggested to customers to upgrade their phones instead of replacing their batteries??? Care to say something???

Despite the fact those car analogies are just idiotic ... I have my contact list, calendar, patient details in my apple devices.

Apple refused to change the battery.

Insisted that the customers dump their current iPhone because it was done.

I can go without a car for weeks or months - even before Uber. Can't do that without my contact list, to do manager, only means of contact, ... iPhone!

It is not uncommon for a company even with Apple's lofty standards to have a glitchy product. The difference is that it steps up and corrects the issue, even if they say something dumb, as PR people are required to do; e.g., antenna issues solved by holding the iPhones properly. "You are holding the device wrong!"

This was a straight up money maker for Apple. Funnily enough, they would have sold out all the iPhones every year with the folks who HAD to buy a new one.

Car analogies are stupid - other cellphones as an alternate are equally dumb. The "friends" Apple has is because of its user experience and long term support. Most other companies barely last two years, whether the phone was bought for $300 or $1000.

To those people who suggest these car or other phone arguments, better to stay on the topic.
 
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dialogos

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2017
140
159
Absolutely, it looks ludicrous on the face of it. Personally instead of spending $$$ on a phone I would be evaluating my options. I had the same scenario on my 6s and Apple wound up by replacing the battery. I didn’t get a new phone.


My comment above should cover this.


This directly dovetails into the car analogy.


You didn’t say what phone you had, but my antenna goes up when anybody suggests I spend money to get a new something to resolve an issue with an old something, in most cases.

Substitution of a car for iPhone, shows on the face of it how we fall for this type of stuff and then blame the vendor.


Just because you're not reading carefully doesn't mean I didn't say what phone I had. It was the iPhone 6 and it was almost new when I had to replace it to iPhone 7. Maybe 15 months old or a little bit more, I don't remember.

Good for you that you're evaluating your options. I did the same.

1. I thought the best thing to do it to change my battery. They refused it to me.
2. Second best option for me was to ask an Apple store what was wrong with my phone and it was so slow. They told me it's the new iOS and if I need my phone to be faster I need to upgrade it! I'm a Doctor not a tech expert so I just ask people who're supposed know better than me.
3. Third thing I did was to google it and I noticed back then people were saying that with the new iOS phones get slow. There is no way to downgrade etc etc. Nobody back then was saying anything about replacing the battery to improve the speed.

That was my research. As I mentioned I need an operating phone, I need to take lot of photos everyday (that's how I'm scanning lots of medical data),I need it for my appointments, to talk to patients and I need something reliable and fast. According to the facts I had back then I had to upgrade my phone asap....but obviously you know better.

By the way did you ever provide any help to us ,before the throttling scandal, telling us to change battery in order to see some speed improvement?? Were you useful back then or you're just supporting Apple now because you realised some people are really pissed with their tactics?

Obviously we have totally different opinion on the topic...
 
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LordVic

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2011
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So was it Apple that finally replaced your battery? If so, it's weird they wouldn't replace the battery before. I don't know your situation, but I don't think I would have taken "no" for an answer.

This is the big problem and why they were fined.

Apple was outright refusing to replace batteries that didn't meet their specific criteria for "bad batteries". I don't actually fault the stores / Genius' for this directly. This was an apple ball drop.

The problem is, before Apple admitted to throttling, they had a "Test" that would only check to see if the capacity of the battery was above a certain threshold (how long of a charge it would hold, not how powerful). if the batteries passed this test, Apple outright refuses to replace them, EVEN if you're willing to pay.

Many of the store workers, without advice from Apple, had no other real resolution to offer customers other than "replace the phone", when replacing the battery would have sufficed.

This isn't on the store workers. This is on Apple directly. Especially since they tried to lie about it. They were asked before this whole thing blew up if they were intentionally throttling OLD phones, and they outright said no. This was a misleading statement as they were throttling devices, but not based on age, but something else.

I do not argue that throttling is better than random shutdowns. I would much rather a throttled phone that's usable than one that randomly shuts off when I need it.

But I demand transparency. the lack of transparecny. The delay in admitting it, And the lie by omissions paints a very negative picture about Apple's ethical position towards it's customers. One of the reasons I've been migrating off Apple products. I have retired my MBA. I am rarely touching my SE anymore. Apple speaks a great game in regards to many things, But several of these misleading statements from their executive and their overall behaviour have soured me on Apple's ability to be truthful on other things they claim too.

Do I think Apple was intentionally doing planned obsolescence? No. Do I think that they had no problems benefiting financially off being misleading? Yes.
 
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I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
24,218
12,396
Gotta be in it to win it
Just because you're not reading carefully doesn't mean I didn't say what phone I had. It was the iPhone 6 and it was almost new when I had to replace it to iPhone 7. Maybe 15 months old or a little bit more, I don't remember.

Good for you that you're evaluating your options. I did the same.

1. I thought the best thing to do it to change my battery. They refused it to me.
2. Second best option for me was to ask an Apple store what was wrong with my phone and it was so slow. They told me it's the new iOS and if I need my phone to be faster I need to upgrade it! I'm a Doctor not a tech expert so I just ask people who're supposed know better than me.
3. Third thing I did was to google it and I noticed back then people were saying that with the new iOS phones get slow. There is no way to downgrade etc etc. Nobody back then was saying anything about replacing the battery to improve the speed.

That was my research. As I mentioned I need an operating phone, I need to take lot of photos everyday (that's how I'm scanning lots of medical data),I need it for my appointments, to talk to patients and I need something reliable and fast. According to the facts I had back then I had to upgrade my phone asap....but obviously you know better.

By the way did you ever provide any help to us ,before the throttling scandal, telling us to change battery in order to see some speed improvement?? Were you useful back then or you're just supporting Apple now because you realised some people are really pissed with their tactics?

Obviously we have totally different opinion on the topic...
Who is the “us” you refer to? Apple should have replaced the battery, bad on them, but I would not have thrown $$$ to a new phone so fast. However we are all different and now you’re blaming Apple, for your decision and why the car analogy. Admit the decision to upgrade was on you and Apple admittedly could have done better.

With 250 million customers of Apple I’m sure there are bound to differing opinions, especially in an online forum where at times hyperbole reigns supreme.
 
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