Apple Crippling Old iPhones: Apology Won’t Stop Lawsuits

In a rare public apology, Apple yesterday said it was sorry for how it handled an operating system upgrade that slows the performance of older iPhones to prevent them from unexpectedly shutting down due to aging batteries. Apple also said it would lower the price for iPhone battery replacements, and add new features to iOS to provide greater transparency into battery health.

However, that response doesn't appear likely to save Apple from user lawsuits over the operating system fix, which intentionally slows down processors and other components to dynamically manage device power usage. To date, 15 class action lawsuits have been filed against Apple alleging misrepresentation, breach of good faith, and deceptive business practices.

Apple's latest troubles began coming to a boil earlier this month after a Reddit user described problems with a slow iPhone 6s and traced the problem to the device's aging battery. Upon checking the phone using the processor benchmarking service Geekbench, the user discovered the device's CPU was significantly slower with the old battery.

'Some of You Feel Apple Has Let You Down'

After the Reddit post was published, Apple acknowledged that its 2016 release of iOS 10.2.1 added a feature designed to smooth out peak power demands in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE by slowing down processor performance. It added that it had also extended that feature to the iPhone 7 with this year's release of iOS 11.2, and planned to "add support for other products in the future."

The revelation led to numerous complaints from iPhone users that Apple was deliberately throttling their devices without informing them why or giving them the ability to opt out. Some also expressed concern that the strategy looked like planned obsolescence intended to drive users to replace aging devices with new iPhones.

"We've been hearing feedback...

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