Apple’s iPhone battery “throttle gate” has now lead to eight class action lawsuits. This will only grow and get worse in terms of PR and costs for Apple. Some people claim the problem is merely transparency. In my opinion this problem is far more than transparency and has a bad smell to it. This problem has caused a lot of people to needlessly upgrade their phones at significant profit to Apple.
I am a huge fan of Apple. I and my wife Dana own everything Apple, but this love is not a blind love. Months ago Dana’s iPhone 6 started to run very slow. We knew the battery was not holding a charge as well as it did in its prime. The phone started running even slower and more erratically after the last upgrade.
Before becoming a novelist, for over 30 years I worked as a hardware / software engineer and scientist. So I intimately know high tech gear and yet I was fooled. When I saw what was going on with Dana’s phone I assumed the phone was running slower because the latest version of IOS required more CPU power. This was a logical assumption based on all my years of engineering experience. What I did not know was that Apple was secretly throttling her phone. Had I known this we could have replaced the battery instead of upgrading to the latest and “greatest” iPhone. Instead we spent far more money than needed and surrendered a perfectly good phone.
Apple claims they throttled the speed to protect the user from unexpected phone shutdowns or some such wonderful “defense.” The truth may never be known, but the facts are that they covertly tampered with the speed of the phone and unintentionally(?) created the illusion of an obsolete device for potentially millions of people. To what end is an interesting question. Were this something torn from the pages of a techno-thriller this is something Evil Corp would do, not my wonderful Apple… and yet… and yet… Do we have a bad Apple? Clearly even the best corporations are sleazy… It is in my nature said the scorpion to the frog.