Published: Tue, January 02, 2018
Technology | By Christopher Mann

Australian lawyers to launch Apple class action over slow iPhones

Australian lawyers to launch Apple class action over slow iPhones

The company just published a letter to apologise for a "misunderstanding", or rather, for the fact that it slows older iPhones.

Dr Robert Merkel, a software engineering lecturer at Monash University, agreed that it "did not appear unreasonable" for Apple to throttle the (central processing unit) to avoid a reboot due to a battery that can not supply enough current.

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Australian lawyers to launch Apple class action over slow iPhones

Apple may be able to boost the trust of some iPhone users with this battery replacement price reduction. "Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that", said Apple in a statement. That price would be available worldwide through December 2018. But it wasn't transparent about the performance penalty, and the new benchmarks suggest the penalty is much more significant than previously believed.

More recently with the introduction of iOS 11.2.0 similar throttling was discovered for iPhone 7 models with older batteries.

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"All rechargeable batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age and their ability to hold a charge diminishes", the company said, while adding that both time and the number of times the battery has been charged affect the chemical aging process.

"Lithium-ion batteries are known to degrade over time", he said. The biggest change is that Apple will lower the cost of out-of-warranty battery replacements for iPhone 6 models and later from $79 to $29-a discount of over 60 percent. The company offered Apple a conciliatory "good on them", in the wake of the news, but also used the opportunity to sing the praises of replacing one's own battery.

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This is also an improvement compared to the status quo, but notifying users about missing device performance isn't the same as giving them an option to get that performance back by disabling the limit. Apple then happily took its customers' money when the customers, dissatisfied with their now-slower devices, purchased new and more expensive iPhones.

Barney however places little blame on Apple directly, saying: "A lot of people are kind of blaming Apple saying 'I feel so betrayed, ' but the more I looked into it, the more I found this was basically inevitable, whether it be Android or iPhones".

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In the letter Apple explained that a year ago it delivered a software update aimed at improving power management during peak workloads "to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE".

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