Complex Made Simple

Apple fans lash out after company admits it tampered with older iphone models

Apple was forced to admit what had long been an unconfirmed theory: the company tampered with performance of old batteries and kept a lid on the practice, according to both Business Insider (BI) and UK’s the Guardian.

Apple attract Star Wars-like fans who line up for miles on end just to get their hands on new i-phone releases, reminiscent of movie fans in a hypnotic-like stance anxious to see Yoda or R2D2.

And Apple did not needs this bit of news after posting record third quarter results in 2017.

So What did Apple admit to?

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A bad Apple

BI said Apple confirmed a longtime conspiracy theory and gave regular customers a big reason to distrust it and seriously undermined fans’ faith in the company and loyalty to it.

“The company on December 21, 2017 admitted it has been secretly stifling the performance of older iPhones,” said the business news site.

For owners of the older iphone versions who faced instances when their iphone went from 30% to1% power and then total blackout, here’s your “Ahhh, that’s what it was moment” and “oh, that makes me sick” realization.

BI said that while Apple admitted to the practice, it stressed that it did so to prevent older phones from shutting down unexpectedly because problems arose when the iphone needed better batteries than the older ones installed on newer models.

Batteries with low charge or that are cold were also problematic to deal with in upgraded models.

That justification wasn’t good enough and didn’t convince the company’s livid followers.

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“For years, we’ve reassured people that no, Apple doesn’t secretly slow down their older iPhones to make them buy new ones,” blogger and iPhone developer Marco Arment said in a tweet on Wednesday, according to BI.

“The reputation damage from secretly slowing down old iPhones, regardless of the reason, will likely linger for a decade.”

 Why admit?

BI said Apple would not have admitted its guilt had it not been for GeekBench releasing charts based on the company data that showed how older iPhones were underperforming, in terms of speed, as they had when initially bought.

“If Apple didn’t acknowledge that it was throttling older phones until one year after it started doing so, what else is the company not telling customers?” asked BI.

“Why should iPhone users believe the company’s explanation for why it’s throttling phones? And why should they believe that it only started doing that a year ago?”

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New conspiracy theory

The iPhone maker’s main reason for meddling in older models is to push customers to upgrade, said BI.

Apple also charges $79 to replace batteries not covered under the phone’s warranty, according to the Guardian.

“The company has a history of artificially making older devices look inferior to new ones. The iPhone 4, for example was perfectly capable of running Siri, but Apple reserved that feature for the model that replaced it, the iPhone 4s,” BI said.

Likewise, the camera in the iPhone 3G was capable of shooting video, but Apple didn’t turn that feature on and instead made video recording the signature capability of its next device, the iPhone 3GS.

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Problem solved?

The guardian quoted an Apple spokesperson saying that Apple’s goal was to deliver the best experience for customers.

“Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6S and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions,” the spokesperson told the paper.

“We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.”

Record Q3 results

According to Fortune Magazine, Apple had a 12% yoy revenue growth, a staggering growth rate for a company of Apple’s size

It also had sales totaling $52.6bn.

Apple’s earnings growth was up 19%, outpacing its sales growth.

Fortune said a $1 trillion market capitalization is within the company’s reach as its market value is nearing $900bn.

Finally, Apple has 210 million subscriptions to its own apps as well as those of third-party services, said Fortune.