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.
BoWilliams.com’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.