U.S. senator inquires Apple over slowing down iPhones with aging batteries

U.S. senator inquires Apple over slowing down iPhones with aging batteries
On the heels of yesterday's reports that France's DGCCRF—the consumer fraud watchdog arm of the French Economy Ministry—had begun a preliminary investigation of Apple's alleged "planned obsolescence" practices, the company is now facing inquiries from government officials in the U.S.

On Tuesday, the WSJ reports, Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, containing various questions about Apple's recently revealed practice of slowing down, or "throttling", iPhones in relation to battery deterioration.

“Apple’s proposed solutions have prompted additional criticism from some customers, particularly its decision not to provide free replacement batteries,” writes Mr. Thune, requesting an answer from the company January 23.

Further in the letter, the SCC chairman goes on to ask if Apple has tracked "customer complaints of processing performance and if Apple has explored offering rebates to customers who paid full price for a battery replacement before the company offered discounted rates last month."

Following revelations regarding Apple's practices of slowing down devices due to battery wear, the company last month started offering $29 battery replacements—a $50 discount from the usual price of $79—which prompted resentment among many who'd paid the full price earlier.

Apple has already said in its official apology regarding the "throttling" debacle, that slowing down the processor of iPhones with weakened batteries is not being done in order to force users into buying a newer phone, but is instead a way of preventing unexpected shutdowns of devices with an aging battery because the cell cannot handle more power-demanding applications. However, Apple's clandestine handling of the situation, without notifying affected users, has prompted a huge backlash against the company, with Apple already facing multiple class-action lawsuits in the United States over the same issue.

source: WSJ via 9to5Mac

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13 Comments

1. Arthurhkt

Posts: 726; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

With Jony Ive voice, for the first time ever, we had such a huge criticism from our customer

9. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

First of all Apple can also hide others things as well. Since anyone that own and uses an iPhone has not control over its speed what so ever. Apple has proven that 100%. Apple can say it's a battery problem, but Apple could also hide issues with flaky CPUs or GPUs, then reduce the clock speed of that flaky SoC. Therefore a reduced clock speed would alleviate any reboots or lock ups. Customers would never know. Apple could point the problem to a battery issue. Apple only confessed because 3rd parties brought the reduced SoC speeds up. The only way to fix an SoC is to replace the iPhone. Besides most customers would never know what is going on if they reduced the speed, because things like browsing the web, using most social media apps, watching videos, movies, play music. You would never see the difference. At the end of the day Apple is a shady company, period.

2. Arthurhkt

Posts: 726; Member since: Apr 19, 2012

continue:- never before that we had face such big pressure from the consumer and even the senator. It is remarkable how they react to the battery issue.

3. afrohoxha

Posts: 264; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Apple should compensate those who bought a new iPhone because of this issue.

5. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Aye, And provide rebates to those who had their iPhone's batteries replaced shortly before the disclosure from Apple and had to pay the full price of replacement.

4. GreenMan

Posts: 2698; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I'm afraid PhoneArena Team isn't being complete transparent with its users on the so called 'BatteryGate' subject: It isn’t just speed and performance that takes a hit with aging batteries. According to many sources including Forbes; iPhones with old batteries WILL have: 1. Dimmer displays. 2. Reduced speaker volume. 3. Weaker camera flash which might be completely disabled. 4. Slower 4G Modem speed. 5. And you are already aware of The CPU. So, weak batteries are like cancer to iPhones. My biggest complaint here isn't the 'throttling feature'; but rather its implementation which has been made mandatory by Apple and is enforced on the users without their consent and bringing it in their knowledge. In my personal opinion; this option should have been made optional, much like The "Doze" feature on Android Smartphones. And the way I see it; The throttling issue is more of a 'criminal act' than an actual software 'feature'. Greed has no boundaries, it seems! Oh well, G'Day!

6. Papa_Ji

Posts: 859; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

'...company last month started offering $29 battery replacements—a $50 discount from the usual price of $79—which prompted resentment among many who'd paid the full price earlier' 50$ DISCOUNT IS A JOKE. Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S8, the battery replacement costs are US$33 and US$37.50 respectively for almost double mAh battery (1600 vs 3000 ) http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2018/01/a-south-korean-report-points-to-prices-of-batteries-from-samsung-and-lg-and-laughs-at-apples-false-battery-discount.html Apple love to f**k iSheep and more interesting is that iSheep love that f**king....And let Apple f**k them again and again

10. Anonymous.

Posts: 423; Member since: Jun 15, 2016

It's nothing new that everything about Apple is overpriced... battery replacement is no exception. It's typically Apple, overprice and under-deliver.

11. cmdacos

Posts: 4267; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

It's ok, Apple found a new avenue for planned obselesance... Developers! Niantic announced that Pokemon Go will stop working soon for anyone not on iOS 11.

14. ph00ny

Posts: 2055; Member since: May 26, 2011

That's a s**tty news considering how some kids are on older hand me down iphones. Hopefully their hand me downs are new enough for ios11

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31324; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Apple had better be ready, cause this isn't going away anytime soon. Bad Apple.

13. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1579; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Yeah, this has hit main stream news, I've heard non tech people talking about how bad Apple is for this. This may actually have a negative impact on sales.

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 31324; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

They're definitely gonna lose a ton of customers due to this. If those that leave, find something they like elsewhere, they won't be back.

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