You just admitted that you purposely slowed down the performance of older iPhones to save battery life. Something called a “new power-management feature.”
Worse, you did it without notifying your loyal users, many of whom have been with you since the very beginning of this handheld adventure.
To me, it’s the tech-company version of gaslighting. As my trusty iPhone 6 Plus started to gasp with the tap of every app, I started to wonder if there was something wrong with me, if I was going a little nuts and if the ghost in the machine had decided that it was sick of being tapped and dragged.
But no. Apple admitted that it intentionally slowed down the phones to stop those with degrading batteries from drawing more power than they are capable of, causing the device to suddenly shut off. They weren’t trying to get us to upgrade, they said. It’s just that there are so many “charge cycles” in a lithium-ion battery before they can no longer be charged properly.
People aren’t buying it.
Within days, the company was hit with two class-action lawsuits by angry customers in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina and a third by a California man named Stefan Bogdanovich. All claim that Apple acted in “deceptive, immoral and unethical ways” and that the company is in violation of consumer protection laws about deceptive business practices.
I thought it was me getting slower.
But perhaps that isn’t such a bad thing. I’m starting to think of this as Apple giving us a little gift we didn’t know about because they were trying to keep it a surprise.
Getting us where we live — in our smartphones — is the most effective way to get our attention, and send us a message: That we need to slow down, and that while we’re standing there, waiting for Instagram to open, we could be looking up, looking around, engaging with the world and with our fellow man.
Not buying that? I tried. And I feel you.
Right at the end of the year, when we’re spending what we can on gifts, meals and travel to see those we love, one of the most successful companies in the world says we need new batteries, or a new phone.
So if you’re still miffed, you have choices. This is America, after all, and this being the week after Christmas, you’re probably headed out to the mall anyway.
Choice one: Replace your iPhone battery, which costs $79 plus shipping at Apple. Spending that instead of $1,000 for the iPhone X seems like a sensible way to end the year.
Choice two: A little something called the Google Pixel.
One writer for Business Insider tried one for a week and loved it. The phone costs $650 — $350 less than the new iPhone. The thing is lighter. The photos are better and the videos just fine.
And get this: The battery life is longer.
His only two complaints: The dongle for the Pixel is just too big (get your mind out of the gutter) and there’s no headphone jack. So that means you’ll have to buy wireless headphones — or be engaged in the world.
For now, I’m fine with my older, slower iPhone. After all, smartphones do so much for us, that if they take a little longer, it’s no big deal. Everybody calm down.
Apple, you did us wrong by not giving us warning.
But in forcing us to slow down just in time for the holidays, you may have done us a favor.