Just days after Apple admitted to slowing down older iPhone models in an effort to conserve battery life, the Cupertino-based company was hit with a class-action lawsuit today. Filed by Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas, the suit claims that Apple’s deliberate effort to throttle CPU performance on the iPhone amounts to “breach of contract.” The suit, originally spotted via TMZ, also notes that Apple’s behavior lowers the resale value of existing iPhones and underhandedly coerces iPhone owners to upgrade to newer models.
While iPhone users for years claimed to notice a discernible system slowdown with some iOS updates, the issue was thrust into the spotlight this month via a widely circulated Reddit thread backed up by cold hard data. Following that, Geekbench founder John Poole did some performance testing of his own on various iPhone models running different iterations of iOS. What Poole found was that Apple does, in fact, limit performance on older iPhone models with lower-capacity batteries in the interest of battery life and preventing unexpected shutdowns.
Once word of Poole’s test results began to spread, Apple was effectively forced to issue a statement on the matter.
Apple’s statement reads:
Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.
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. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.
While Apple’s approach here makes sense, the company should have been more forthright about it from the get-go; especially since iPhone users, for years on end, were told that they were crazy for even suggesting that Apple would purposefully slow down older devices.