Last month Apple confirmed that it was slowing the performance of older iPhones, which many people suspected.
According to Apple, it introduced the power management feature in iOS 10.2 for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus and iOS 11.2 for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, because over time the battery runs out of capacity, and cannot supply enough power to the iPhone in times of peak processor usage. Apple’s explanation makes sense, but Apple could have handled this in a much better way.
Here are some of the things Apple should do or still can do to handle this slow iPhone controversy:
When Apple introduced the Power management feature in iOS 10.2, it should have clearly communicated that it was slowing down iPhones with degraded batteries which kicks in when it needs to run at peak performance. It almost seems fishy to reveal that they are slowing down older phones after the reddit user discovered the issue, and was later confirmed by John Poole, founder of Geekbench. There have been conspiracy theories that have claimed that Apple is slowing down iPhones to force users to upgrade. After the incident, people seem to have lost a bit of trust and are more inclined to believe these conspiracy theories.
It is difficult to figure out if your iPhone is affected as iOS’ power management feature will only slow down your iPhone if variables such as device temperature, battery state of charge, and the battery’s impedance require it.
Apple plans to address this by releasing a software update that would give more visibility into the health of iPhone’s battery, so we can see if its condition is affecting performance.
While it would be good to get better visibility on whether Apple is slowing down our iPhones, I think Apple needs to give users the choice to disable the power management feature to give users control to disable the feature. It would give them control and avoid them feeling forced into buying a new phone.
End Obsession For Even Thinner iPhones
While it is a well-known fact that lithium batteries have problems. The fact that Apple has to slow the performance of older iPhones due to battery degradation suggests that it is a design flaw, especially since other smartphone manufacturers have confirmed that they don’t slow down their older phones. We don’t have that issue with iPhones before iPhone 6. In fact, Apple should replace the battery for free rather than charging $29. Would you have bought the iPhone if you knew that it would slow down in one and a half year? I doubt it.
In its quest to have the fastest smartphone, it seems to be pushing the processing power of its chips to the limit, but it doesn’t seem to have taken into consideration the degradation of batteries. But we want the fastest iPhones every year so Apple needs to ensure that as the iPhones get older they don’t shut down unexpectedly by ensuring that they can compensate for degrading batteries. One way to do it is to bigger batteries, which means that the company needs to end its obsession with making even thinner iPhones every year.
Apple needs to change its attitude towards its customers. Apple seems to believe that they are making these decisions for the benefit of their customers, and in most cases that’s true. But in some cases, it has to become more transparent and give users the choice. It needs to shed its big brother image. I think they have got into this situation just because of this attitude. It needs to change, there is a percentage of people who want to have the choice to do what they want with their $1,000 iPhones.
I don’t believe Apple slowed down older iPhones to force users to upgrade to a new iPhone. They genuinely believed that it was a better way to handle the issue than causing unexpected shutdowns. It is quite annoying. But the damage is already done. Apple will be under a lot more scrutiny going forward, which is disappointing as a long time Apple fan. This is an opportunity for Apple to change so that it does not get into such situations again.
What do you think? Has Apple managed the iPhone battery controversy as per your satisfaction? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.