Dec 222017

Confirming suspicions long held by many, Apple this week acknowledged its practice of deliberately slowing down old iPhones. At least two class action suits are pending.

Apple’s stated reason for the practice is to prevent older devices with aging batteries from suddenly shutting off.’s stated opinion of this explanation is “that’s really, really thin.” Gee, I think instead, it might have been to push customers into more frequent upgrades than they really need.

Which scenario do you think is more likely?

Look, I get that none of the faceless megacorps are our buddies. They all want our data, because they all want to shake new ways to make money from it. But would you expect this sort of seething arrogance from anyone but Apple?

Apple seemed, until perhaps this week, to have perfected a ridiculous business model. It charged its paying fans—some of the most loyal in the world—large amounts of money to be treated with transparent hostility. From the pentalobe screw fiasco to the obscene-in-an-inherently-obscene space accessory prices—even to making its store visitors grovel at the Genius Bar for customer service—Apple has never hidden its contempt for its customers.

And still, many thousands of them will swallow this thoroughly absurd company line, pat their bellies, and say “mmm, yummy, Apple!” But maybe this will also be the first slip of the halo. Maybe this is the first little dribble of an antidote for Apple fanaticism.

Maybe, this time struck, Apple will bleed.

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 Posted by at 3:24 pm

  3 Responses to “Gee, turns out #Apple did slow down old iPhones”

  1. This is one of those situations where “the conspiracies were true!” actually wasn’t. At least not as long as people have claimed (I’ll get to that).

    To give context, I’m not an Apple fan boy, the only Apple product I own is an iPhone 7 (with no interest in getting the iPhone X or 8). I own way more Windows and Linux based computers, and every other market Apple is in, I own something that is not Apple, with no intention of ever changing that.

    A guy who makes a rather prominent phone benchmarking tool happened to notice that a phone had different performance metrics after going from iOS 10.2 to 10.2.1. That’s all that was found and Apple admitted that as of 10.2.1, they slow things down a little to improve phone stability. 10.2.1 came out in January 2017. That’s hardly a confirmation of the long held conspiracy that’s been kicked around.

    Did they screw up… yes. The one suit claiming the Apple store employees told people to buy new phones to fix their performance problems… that might have feet. The store employees were in the dark too, so that bit of shade goes way up to Cupertino. But the lawsuits just complaining that Apple slowed down their phone… sorry, you don’t have much of a foot to stand on since your phone would otherwise likely power cycle or just shut off without that fix.

  2. Also… don’t be surprised when other vendors get dinged on this… b/c you know people are going to check now…

  3. Apple’s official response is a good one.

    The unlikeliness of the “grand conspiracy” notwithstanding, Apple is definitely guilty of poor communication. If you want to be trusted, don’t act like you can’t be.

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