Apple Admits Slowing Down Old iPhones, and Why There’s Nothing Wrong With That

Image Source: CNET

Image Source: CNET

So Apple decided to release a statement recently that told it’s users the honest truth about them using updates to slow down their old phones. Of course, that received¬†so much backlash from the masses that they totally ignored why Apple is doing this.

Just before Christmas, the tech giant Apple decided to release the controversial statement admitting that they’re doing what every iPhone owner feared. This all started when people have noticed that recent system updates to their phone seem to have caused the older iPhone models to slow down on their performance a lot. Many people are speculating before the statement was released that Apple was using this as a new tactic to force people into buying new phones. When Apple released the statement admitting to using new updates to slow down old phones, they defended themselves by saying that the reason they did it was that the batteries degrade over time and this causes the older phones to malfunction and shut down to protect the phones’ components.

Now while Apple has a lot of faults and could have handled this better than what they did, they are certainly allowed to use updates this way, for a lot of reason.

Apple’s Responsibilities

Image Source: Apple

The introduction of Apple’s iPhone X this year (Image Source: Apple)

Apple has the right to slow down your phone if it means protecting the core functions of its devices. As Apple said, their batteries degrade over time and this could cause the phone to malfunction. Of course, the worse scenario is that the batteries themselves might malfunction. Last time we have malfunctioning batteries, it costs a very well known tech company an arm and a leg, with millions of their flagship phone being pulled out from the market.

That company, Samsung,¬† is slowing playing catch-up now but it will take them some time and a lot of hard work to get back their reputation up again. Apple doesn’t want to be that company. That said, of course, Apple could have taken time to notify their users of this detail and let the users choose between updating their device or continue using it in the same way. It is perfectly reasonable to let the users decide how to use their phones.

However, the company should also make it clear to their users that should they continue using their phones in such a way that it could hasten the degradation of their batteries they’re the ones responsible for it and not Apple should something unfortunate happen regarding the degrading batteries. It’s only fair, since it is the user’s choice.

As for the rumor that Apple is using this as a tactic to encourage its users to upgrade to a new phone, well, they should be allowed to do so. One problem of every tech company is that as things get older, it gets costlier and more troublesome to maintain their products that are being used. The more devices you have that are being used, the more difficult it is to track which devices need to be upgraded. Having less means it would be easier to maintain and make updates because you only need to make a few for everyone.

The problem comes when the users would refuse to update to newer products. This leads to the company working on the newer products while trying to maintain the older ones as well so that they can keep their customers happy and satisfied. For tech companies, this means making sure that the software updates are compatible with the existing devices and that the updates are compatible and working. But suppose that even those updates are being ignored by those users too?

An example can be drawn from an incident this year: Sometime years ago Microsoft released Windows 10 and offered everyone a free upgrade. Some opted not to for some reason. What’s more, people would neglect to update them. Then the Wannacry Ransomware Attack happened and everyone using un-updated versions of Windows 7 got infected. If the users were using the latest software instead, this might have been prevented.


Tim Cook, Apple CEO (Image Source: Apple)

Tim Cook, Apple CEO (Image Source: Apple)

In the end, Apple has already released their side of the story and whether iPhone users would continue using Apple products is up to them. Users could switch phones if they want to. But that means buying another phone, which is what people using old phones are trying to avoid. If people don’t mind the decreased performance of their old phones why shouldn’t they just continue using it until they finally decide to switch to a new phone? Besides, those who are obsessed with performance probably have upgraded to the newer phone before people ever discovered the problem. If you’re using an old phone, you probably aren’t that much bothered by a slower performance anyway.