Apple yesterday confirmed that it has implemented power management features
in older iPhones to improve performance and prevent unexpected
shutdowns as the battery in the devices starts to degrade, and this
admission has now led to a class action lawsuit, which was first noticed
Los Angeles residents Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas, represented
by Wilshire Law Firm, this morning filed a lawsuit with the U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California accusing Apple of
slowing down their older iPhone models when new models come out.
breached the implied contracts it made with Plaintiffs and Class
Members by purposefully slowing down older iPhone models when new models
come out and by failing to properly disclose that at the time of that
the parties entered into an agreement.
According to the
lawsuit, Bogdanovich and Speas have owned the iPhone 7 and several older
iPhone models and have noticed that their "older iPhone models slows
(sic) down when new models come out." The two say they did not consent
to have Apple slow down their devices, nor were they able to "choose
whether they preferred to have their iPhones slower than normal."
They're seeking both California and Nationwide class action
certification, which would cover all persons residing in the United
States who have owned iPhone models older than the iPhone 8.
Apple yesterday addressed speculation
that it throttles the performance of older iPhones with degraded
batteries, confirming that there are power management features in place
to attempt to prolong the life of the iPhone and its battery. Apple
implemented these features last year in iOS 10.2.1
When an iPhone's battery health starts to decline, the battery is not
capable of supplying enough power to the iPhone in times of peak
processor usage, which can lead to shutdowns, Apple says.
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."
seemingly misrepresents Apple's original statement and suggests the
plaintiffs and their lawyers do not understand Apple's explanation for
how iPhone power management features work and why they were implemented,
given the lawsuit's suggestion that it's tied to the release of new
devices. As explained by Apple, when certain iPhone models hit a peak of
processor power, a degraded battery is sometimes unable to provide
enough juice, leading to a shutdown. Apple says it "smooths out" these
peaks by limiting the power draw from the battery or by spreading power
requests over several cycles.
Lithium-ion batteries degrade over time by nature, and this eventual
wearing out addressed by the power management features is unrelated to
the release of new iPhone models.
Apple does not deny that iPhones with older batteries can sometimes see
slower performance, but power management is a feature that Apple says
has been implemented to improve overall performance by preventing an
iPhone from shutting down completely rather than a feature that's been
implemented to force users to upgrade by deliberately slowing devices.
As many people have suggested, Apple has done a poor job of explaining
why it has implemented these power management features and how the state
of the battery ultimately affects iPhone performance. More transparent
information about battery health should be provided, and customers
should be better informed when their batteries start to degrade so they
can choose whether or not to pay for a replacement. Apple may also need
to relax its policies on when customers can pay for a battery
replacement, as currently, a battery can't be replaced unless in-store
equipment registers it as near failing.
An iPhone's battery is designed to retain 80 percent of its original
capacity at 500 complete charge cycles. A defective battery that does
not meet those parameters can be replaced for free for customers who
have AppleCare+ or who have devices still under warranty.
For out of warranty customers, Apple offers a battery replacement service
, which costs $79 plus $6.95 for shipping.
The lawsuit is demanding the replacement of the old iPhone and
compensation for loss of use, loss of value, the purchase of new
batteries, ascertainable losses in the form of the deprivation of the
value of the iPhone, and overpayments because Plaintiffs and Class
Members "did not receive what they paid for" when Apple interfered with
the usage of their iPhones.