APPLE'S MEA CULPA over its deliberate throttling of iPhone processors and the subsequent trio of lawsuits it now faces has prompted the firm to offer battery replacements at bargain bucket prices.
In mid-December, Apple was forced to confirm what many had suspected: it was deliberately hamstringing the performance of older iPhones running newer versions of iOS.
But it claimed to be doing this as a means to prevent processors from demanding too much power from older Lithium-ion battery packs, which degrade over time and struggle to deliver the peak currents and battery life they could when new.
Depending on your point of view, such a move was either practical and sensible or clandestine and unacceptable.
It would seem the latter has been the option of a trio of plaintiffs in the US who have filed lawsuits against Apple essentially claiming Tim Cook's crew failed to inform them about the processor throttling and that such enforced slowdowns were unethical and deceptive.
Complaints where levied at Apple for using such tactics as a means to prompt Apple fans to shell-out for the latest iPhone, though we'd point out that such people tend to already do that, likely just after prostrating themselves at the foot of a shrine made to ever-earnest designer Jonny Ive.
"Apple's failure to inform consumers these updates would wreak havoc on the phone's performance is being deemed purposeful, and if proven, constitutes the unlawful and decisive withholding of material information," said James Vlahakis from the Sulaiman Law Group which is representing the plaintiffs taking legal action in Chicago.
While these lawsuits bubbled away, Apple released a further statement on its deliberate slowdowns of older iPhones, explaining how Lithium-ion batteries ages and why processor throttling is needed to prevent unexpected shutdowns, noting that when an iPhone battery is replaced performance hops back to normal.
Added to the mix, and likely helping prevent any further lawsuits from being thrown at the firm, Apple also said it has reduced the price of out-of-warranty battery replacements for iPhones.
"We've always wanted our customers to be able to use their iPhones for as long as possible. We're proud that Apple products are known for their durability, and for holding their value longer than our competitors' devices," explained Apple.
"Apple is reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by £54 — from £79 to £25 — for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, available worldwide until December 2018."
And to its credit, Apple is also going to offer an iOS update that provides iPhone users with new features allowing them to better ogle the health of their batteries if that sort of thing floats their boat.
No doubt there's a cavalcade of Android users sniggering away at 'Apple sheep' for having phones with such performance decreasing issues.
But at least Cupertino appears to have done such processor throttling in good faith and is offering ways to address performance slowdown without stripping your wallet bare for an iPhone X.
Still, we doubt that will convince people delicately caressing Samsung's Galaxy S8 or feverishly drooling over Galaxy S9 rumours. µ
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