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A Message to Our Customers about iPhone Batteries and Performance (apple.com)
1176 points by jayachdee on Dec 28, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 832 comments

I think this is a good response, and I think a lot of the outrage over this issue is overblown. At the end of the day there's a fundamental tradeoff that Apple needs to make on behalf of their customers: performance or stability. They chose stability, and I think they have a convincing argument as to why: "It should go without saying that we think sudden, unexpected shutdowns are unacceptable. We don’t want any of our users to lose a call, miss taking a picture or have any other part of their iPhone experience interrupted if we can avoid it."

I have two concerns:

1) They still haven't fully eliminated the sudden shutdown behavior. My old 5S would shut down randomly under 20% without warning. Sometimes it would make it all the way to 1-2%, but most of the time it was between 5-15%. You'd think they'd scale performance throttling untilt this wasn't an issue.

2) I think their messaging with respect to battery health and the battery being a consumable is pretty poor. As far as I can tell there's no built-in battery health indicator in iOS. Sure there are those dodgy "Super Battery Health Plus Pro" apps, but it seems like a diagnostic menu in settings would go a long way. Even more puzzling is that techs at the Apple Store have access to some sort of diagnostic that does this already. Last time I went to get another issue fixed the guy said that my battery was at 70% capacity and the voltage was pretty low. Why wait until '2018' to ship a self-serve version of this?

The outrage doesn't seem overblown to me. For years I knew that my iphones were becoming obsolete not entirely from the passage of time but instead from upgrading the OS. Apple insisted they were not slowing down devices. Now they claim that they started this in iOS 10.2, without notification.

My experience has been that upgrading the OS results in degraded performance 100% of the time. Whether intentional or not Apple would not acknowledge the issue. The phone shutting down at X% charge has always started after an OS upgrade.

What people are missing here is that while Apple now confess that they did slowdown the iPhone 6 and 6s when they released the 7, they are not saying anything about earlier models.

They are however lowering the price to exchange batteries even for older models. Why would they do that if they where not affected? Why don't they say this practice started with the IOS 10 update? They just say they did it in the 10 update. For me it's obvious this is just a PR "puff piece" and looks like a majority here is buying it... So well played Apple.

This was a perfect opportunity for Apple to come out and explicitly state they have never slowed phones down other than in this instance. That would certainly go a long way to restoring confidence.

Instead they came out with a weasely-worded statement that is designed to give the impression that they only recently starting doing this. But... they don't actually make that claim.

Apple lawyers are very good at what they do. Well played Apple indeed.

Give me a break please. From the post:

>First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.

I see 0 weasel words or dodging here. Give me a break hacker news. Thanks.

Notice all the qualifiers? Notice that the above statement, while technically truthful does not tell the whole story?

This is not a time for vague promises IMHO, it's time for specific and clear statements. Why not just say you don't slow phones full stop?

What qualifiers? They said they haven’t and never would do anything to shorten or harm device life. That’s as direct as it gets. This isn’t a weasel word message, sorry.

they would never do it "to drive customer upgrades".

That isn't never do it. That's never do it for a single specific reason. Why add that clause?

I guarantee no word in that statement is wasted on meaningless fluff.

The reduction in battery replacement is only for anyone with iPhone 6 or later, not older models.

"Apple is reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 — from $79 to $29 — for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018. Details will be provided soon on apple.com."

> They are however lowering the price to exchange batteries even for older models.

No, they’re not:

> Apple is reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 — from $79 to $29 — for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018.

> For years I knew that my iphones were becoming obsolete

The clock down feature is new so your past experiences are very likely unrelated.

Sure, for this specific issue. But the culture of increasing hardware requirements beyond the reasonable point of not-that-old phones coupled with the opacity surrounding what is done to support them is systemic (and not Apple-specific of course).

>But the culture of increasing hardware requirements beyond the reasonable point of not-that-old phones coupled with the opacity surrounding what is done to support them is systemic (and not Apple-specific of course).

My recollection is that back when you needed a new computer every three years if you wanted to be able to read word processor documents from others in the office is that there was a whole lot less vitriol then. Maybe I am misremembering; it has been a long time.

We did joke. "What Intel gives, Microsoft takes away" - I do remember that every upgrade came with complaints of "Bloat!" - but I remember there being a lot more excitement than complaints, (modulo really bad ideas... Did anyone like Microsoft bob? I mean, I understand where they were coming from, but it was just a really terrible implementation)

I personally find it super amusing that I now have two laptops in front of me; one that is a year old, and one that is seven years old. Both running modern software, and they both work just fine. The new one uses a lot less power, of course, and doesn't get as warm on my lap, and the old one has some physical problems; I need to take apart and clean out the keyboard, but it mostly just works.

I wonder if cellphones will be that way in twenty years?

> My recollection is that back when you needed a new computer every three years...is that there was a whole lot less vitriol then. Maybe I am misremembering; it has been a long time.

Back then I think people saw a lot more noticeable, and tangible process across the computing space, which made the constant hardware refreshes palatable. For instance, there was only three years between the release of Windows 3.1 and Windows 95. Plus, back then, computers were so new that people didn't know what else was possible.

Most of the recent "progress" in consumer computing have been gimmicks, IMHO, and consumers have also seen a recent period of blissful stability (e.g. the long reign Windows XP) that makes them less tolerant of a 90s-style refresh cycle.

There's a trade-off. Either your device becomes obsolete because it doesn't have the hardware capacity to support the requirements of a newer OS so you are stuck at an older version, or it becomes obsolete because the vendor allowed an upgrade that was detrimental to performance.

For the vendor: damned if you do, damned if you don't.

There's no problem with having an older iOS that still runs as fast as the day you bought the phone. Many people I know purposely hold off the upgrades just to retain the same speed, and are satisfied with it

There is a very fundamental problem to it, namely the lack of security patches. They really shouldn't browse the web anymore, then.

Unless the vendor also makes the OS and can choose the minimum hardware requirements they target.

Which was exactly the point.

Or a third option: invest in software that doesn't have strict absolute hardware requirements. A lot of the hardware requirement inflation is due to unoptimized software. Which is not a quality failing as much as a deliberate choice. Apple could absolutely include older device performance in their QA testing.

Mobile CPUs have quadrupled since 3.5 years when the 6 came out. Most normal people want cool new features. If you are in the minority, don’t expect it to be fixed just for you — especially since the old OS is optimized for you and you can use it just fine.

This is not true. Apple does not let you install old versions of iOS and if you try to avoid upgrading you’re bombarded multiple times per day with pop ups asking you to either upgrade now, or install overnight. There’s no option to skip the new os. You can only click install overnight, then cancel out of the passcode prompt.

It's a simular situation on the mac os. I remember reading a post here a little while back about some security flaw in the new mac os that allowed unauthorized access to root. The fact that i have to go through the process you deacribed evry day is very frustrating.

They push way to hard to be constantly updating os versions, especially given the serious bugs that people seem to be finding.

> […] especially since the old OS is optimized for you and you can use it just fine.

This is inaccurate. The fundamental issue is that Apple doesn’t backport security fixes to old iOS versions. This makes it untenable to use older iOS versions, unless you don’t care about the security of your data/device. If Apple changed their policy on backporting security fixes, they’d be able to offer iOS downgrades without compromising user security.

> Most normal people want cool new features.

The problem is not new features, but bloat. Look at stack traces on recent versions of iOS, or at the view hierarchy, or at the method table of NSObject. Apple is rushing out junk software by adding another fat layer of duct tape every year.

iOS 11 is just as terrible on the 5s as iOS 9 was on the iPhone 4s. Within two years, the OS has caught up with a 4.5x increase in CPU performance! I'm not talking about 3D games, just unlocking the phone, taking pictures, launching apps, chatting on iMessage/WhatsApp. And iOS 11 should actually be more lightweight since it has dropped support for 32-bit apps.

I don't think it is new. The article doesn't say it is new, which Apple would if it was.

They literally said it was new in the 8th paragraph in the link, consistent with the patch notice from that release. The second paragraph plainly says they have never engaged in planned obsolescence. As a business they’d never make so blunt a statement if it weren’t true, as they’d get sued into the ground if it came out otherwise.

Just judging from my own experience, I do believe it is new. I have had a 5S for around 3 years now, my wife just finished her 2 year contract on her 6.

She has been noticing a slow down on her phone, while I have not on mine. I thought this was strange before reading this press release, but now it seems to fit.

Does this include running the new OS after a factory reset?

I find that even on Android, you drop some performance after a full system upgrade and it doesn't come back until a full reset is performed with the new OS.

It's stupid that this is required, but that can be explained as a technical problem rather than planned obsolescence.

On top of that, there's the variable of increased system resources to consider, which will account for some of it, and is a no-win scenario from the manufacturer standpoint no matter what they choose.

Shouldn't be necessary after a proper upgrade. Maybe wipe the Dalvik partition yourself afterwards if your vendor is incompetent?

Yes, the "upgrade" to ios 11 slowed down app load/switch times on my ipad by several seconds, even after a full reset (made no difference). It's nonsense that I am now stuck with it.

Define "full reset". Did you wipe and re-install via iTunes? I seem to recall reading recently that can make a big difference.

Maybe it's from this link on Daring Fireball? [1] A wipe and reinstall via iTunes is also an extremely painful process. Since the ability to transfer apps from iOS to iTunes was removed long ago (for reasons — like App Thinning — that don't make any sense to me), once the reinstall and restore of the data (alone) from iTunes is done, one would have to wait a long time for all the apps to download via WiFi from the App Store. For people with many apps and games (that are quite large), this wipe and reinstall would cost them several GBs in download traffic and several minutes to several hours (depending on where one lives and the Internet connection).

[1]: https://daringfireball.net/linked/2017/12/22/glenn-iphone-sl...

Yep, thanks.

No, reset from ios. I'm not aware of a difference with doing it from iTunes, either way you get an empty ios that first asks you the os language you want.

I would give it a try. A reinstall of the OS is more thorough than wiping the data from it.


Battery performance is just one of the ways your phone becomes useless. Apple is notorious for pushing iOS updates that basically make a phone useless.

Apple has been trying to trick me into upgrading to iOS 11 which will make my phone useless junk.

Is iOS 10 still receiving security and reliability updates?


>>My experience has been that upgrading the OS results in degraded performance 100% of the time.

Well yeah, since more features mean slower performance.

I saw a noticeable performance decrease when I went from Windows 7 to Windows 8. That doesn't mean Microsoft started throttling the CPU.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t expect some slowdown but Apple essentially forces you to upgrade with no path to downgrade the os. After upgrading my iPhone 6 to iOS 11 I could not launch Lyft, uber took minutes to open, and even the built in message app would have multi-second lag on key press. If you are destroying what was a perfectly fine phone with a software release it should simply not be supported. I would have been content with an old version of iOS that had reasonable performance and did not result in my phone shutting down at 30%, which was a problem introduced with iOS 11.

I wish someone would take the time to benchmark how stark the performance difference is between Day 0, Day 365, Day 730, etc. of doing the same exact tasks on a factory reset device with whatever is the latest software version at that time.

It's not hard to roll out new features behind flags for devices which can't reasonably support them. But your experience of ridiculous lag trying to open basic apps which have no particularly high resource requirement has been my experience exactly.

There's more going on than simply, "we added new features!" Devices which on Day 0 are blazingly fast and incredibly responsive because literally unusable in a few years doing exactly the same tasks.

I fully agree with you that not being able to downgrade is one of the biggest issues at play.

> I could not launch Lyft, uber took minutes to open

That’s something that’s wrong with your phone, not iOS.

That has been my experience as well.

Perhaps with each upgrade, Apple can let us know how much of a performance hit we will be taking.

That way I can weigh the benefit of the new/improved features of the new OS vs the performance penalty.

Hell will freeze over before that happens.

> My experience has been that upgrading the OS results in degraded performance 100% of the time.

I have the same experience on Android. Of course I rarely received OS updates, but even that's better than Google making the device practically unusable.

Be it a marketing ploy, a conscious decision trying to protect me, or just a mistake, I don't care. It's bad.

I have the opposite experience with Android. My Nexus 5X now went from version 6 to 7 to 8, and that's not including the minor version updates. It hasn't gotten any slower. Looks like it will last a few more years easily.

Storage degradation is the only thing that worries me, I wish more companies made phones with microSD slots. Modern microSD cards are cheap and fast.

My old Apple devices, for comparison, are useless bricks.

That's nice. I don't remember which Android version it was, but it made my Nexus 7 unusable. After the update it would take minutes to start a web browser. I put it in a drawer and haven't used it since.

My Samsung is definitely slower than it was few OS upgrades ago. It's becoming an annoyance. My at-the-time-google-owned-Motorola did't receive any updates. My Google Nexus tablet became completely unusable (like, really, really unusable, not just slow). With older devices, Android 2.x was horrible from the go, so I don't know if it could get worse (and there were only minor updates anyway).

A very small sample, I know. But part of my post was to point out that Apple users can consider themselves lucky at least in the regard that they do receive updates.

You're confusing the slowness caused by the updates (which doesn't exist on Android) with the slowness caused by the flash storage degradation (which absolutely does exist). I too have an old Nexus 10, which died from that cause, a common problem.

That's exactly why I think microSD support is so important. Your old card got slow? Buy a new one for $20, copy the files over, done.

Ah, I see. Well that might be the cause for the Samsung device. It has an SD card slot, but I don't think that will help much now (good to know for future I guess). As for this

> which doesn't exist on Android

it's simply not true. Google pushed updates[1] to old Nexus devices that extremely hindered the performance. Downgrade made them fine again. I'm fairly certain it isn't a unique case, and Google wasn't the only one forcing shit upgrades on their customers.

1. quick find, but should be enough https://forums.androidcentral.com/google-nexus-7-tablet-2012...

There's absolutely no way updating a few dozen apps takes 6 hours because of the OS. It's the classic flash degradation symptom. My Nexus 10 is the same. It didn't get slow after the updates, it progressively slower over a couple of years.

> My old 5S would shut down randomly under 20% without warning. Sometimes it would make it all the way to 1-2%, but most of the time it was between 5-15%.

"avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE[...]we recently extended the same support for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus"

They did not apply the change to the 5S.

The change definitely didn’t fully solve the problem in the effected models either. (Can’t comment on if it was partially effective.) Recently had a sudden shutdown from 50%->0% on a 6S.

It’s a decent response by Apple, although would have been better if they didn’t require a scandal to reduce their absurd markup on batteries.

My wife just two days ago had a shutdown on a 6 at 45-50%

There's a free battery replacement "quality program" for that issue. [1]

Also (unrelated, but will apply to many here), if you have a MacBook or MacBook Pro that the anti-glare coating has started to come off screen (typically around the edges), you can get a new screen for free. [2]

[1]: https://www.apple.com/support/iphone6s-unexpectedshutdown/

[2]: https://www.macrumors.com/2017/11/17/apple-extends-free-stai... (Apologies, couldn't find the Apple link.)

No, the replacement program is for iPhone 6s, not iPhone 6.

I had the same issue with the 5S I'm typing on now, and replacing the battery a few months ago entirely solved that issue for me.

My iPhone 6 was snappy, then ios 11 came along and now it's not. Also, it's not the battery - I smashed the screen and they replaced the phone in April. It's just classic Apple: programming for the latest CPUs and damn the rest. As an example, siri used to load instantly when I held down the home button, on ios 11 it takes 5 seconds.

Siri buffers your speech as soon as you hit the button or say, “Hey Siri.” You don’t need to wait for the screen to load.

Apple if you're reading this: let us downgrade to iOS 10 please.

Downgrades are not going to happen. They take pride in saying “Look at this chart, the vast majority of users is running the latest iOS”. That is also why you get annoying update reminders that you can never dismiss permanently, only choose “Remind me later”.

This in itself wouldn’t be so bad if Apple didn’t nag-force these updates onto models that are clearly not capable of providing a pleasant experience. On one hand Apple applauds itself for being environmentally friendly, on the other hand they purposefully make millions of devices obsolete with every major iOS release. Hypocrites.


Yeah, I've also ranted about this before. My favorite example is Apple board member Al Gore, who, according to Wikipedia[1]: remained prominent as an author and environmental activist, whose work in climate change activism earned him (jointly with the IPCC) the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

Yeah, the guy literally wins the Nobel Prize because of his environmental activism, and has been on the Apple board for many years, and yet Apple embraces planned obsolescence. Not hypocrites, fucking hypocrites.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Gore

I don't think Apple ever applied throttling to devices prior to the iPhone 6. As you say, old 5Ses would shutdown at 20% (or lower), but it was with the iPhone 6 and later where devices would occasionally stop at 50%, so became a much bigger issue. Presumably this was due to the A8 CPU having a wider-range of power consumption (this is a guess, if anyone actually knows why I would be interested to know).

For point 2, there is Coconut Battery on MacOS. This is telling me my old iPhone 6 has 90% capacity after 400 odd cycles, which is probably par for the course, but I have no idea if that's bad enough for the performance throttling to kick in or not. Hopefully the new screen is going to be detailed enough to say how much throttling has been applied.

I think the outrage is justified, for one particular reason: none of this would have happened if Apple hadn't devolved the feature: user-replaceable batteries.

It is Apples' arrogance that painted them into this corner, and nothing less.


I had the same problem with a user-replaceable phone battery

It took me a while to realize it was the battery to blame. Yes, replacing it was easier, but you need to identify the problem first

Not incorrect at all. Its a perfectly reasonable function of the operating system to tell the user that their battery is end-of-life and it should be replaced.

What is "incorrect" is all the justification for this unacceptable, anti-customer behaviour. The current design serves no purpose other than to treat the customer as a cash-cow, who must upgrade their phone at the EOL of their battery, or suffer a degradation in the capabilities of a device they own. Or, do they not?

> Its a perfectly reasonable function of the operating system to tell the user that their battery is end-of-life and it should be replaced.


> for this unacceptable, anti-customer behaviour

There are two choices (besides warning the user): either you make the phone use less electricity (slowing down the CPU, dimming the screen, etc) or you let it shutdown unexpectedly and without warning.

The pro-customer behaviour is the first one, not the second one. It is graceful degradation of a system that can't perform to its top specification.

This is regardless of the battery being replaceable or not, there is no other option that keeps the phone running and without unexpected shutdowns.

Pro-customer would be:

1. Measure the battery, see that it is not optimal. 2. Tell the user: "your system has been slowed down due to non-optimal battery performance. Please replace the battery as soon as possible." 3. Let the user replace the battery.

Instead, this phenomenon is being exploited to prompt people into dumping the old phone and upgrade to the new one.

As I said, I don't disagree with warning the user

> There are two choices (besides warning the user): either you make the phone use less electricity (slowing down the CPU, dimming the screen, etc) or you let it shutdown unexpectedly and without warning.

> The pro-customer behaviour is the first one

Option Alpha: Tell the User, let them Fix the Consumable Themselves.

What do you mean Incorrect?

>> but you need to identify the problem first

Apparently apple had identified the problem first and they choose to put non user-replaceable batteries.

Plus why does my 4 years old Oppo android phone is not suffering from this battery issue ? Does apple use inferior batteries ?

Battery life is somewhat random; it's why batteries as a whole are measured with MTTF. You may be lucky enough to have an outlying battery life, or you may have used the phone in such a way that the battery lived longer, or the battery itself may have had a higher MTTF due to it being a larger capacity.

>> Battery life is somewhat random

Looks pretty deterministic in case of apple. That is until the next phone release.

> Plus why does my 4 years old Oppo android phone is not suffering from this battery issue ?

Slower processor/smaller overall consumption, possibly. Living in a place without temperature extremes (especially cold) helps

It still sounds like a false dilemma to me. I've never had reboots on my Android phones because of battery problems.

Maybe Apple just needs to buy better quality batteries? And perhaps higher capacity that are also capable of more charges before they lose too much of their original capacity?

Upthread at the moment there is a Samsung owner who does have shutdowns from battery problems.

Part of it has to do with how the battery has been treated. Wild swings in charge daily cause damage. Hot temperatures cause damage. I'd guess most iPhone owners have little to no damage. But for those who do, slowing the phone and giving a warning is a good alternative to shutting down.

I had plenty of reboot, freezes and boot-cycles on my not even 1 and half year old nexus 5. Maybe you just use your phone to do an odd call or two if you never experienced anything strange?

Do you live somewhere cold? My old devices are perfectly fine indoors but if I step outside in the winter they shut off in a few minutes

Li-Ion batteries lose the ability to provide energy at low temperatures, pretty fast. If the battery is aged, the effect becomes much more pronounced.

I've had my HP laptop running Windows (one of the best models a few years ago) shutdown randomly because of an aged battery. Replacing the battery made it usable again. I don't believe this is an Apple-only issue or even a smartphone-only issue. If it hasn't happened to someone, it may be due to many other factors at play.

The parent post actually mentions this happening on the 5S, a phone which did not get a software update choosing stability over performance. The 6 can slow down and run with a 20% battery while the 5S runs fast and must shut down due to the voltage drop.

I disagree, I think this was a terrible response. They start with the following:

"First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades"

... and then proceed to explain why that's exactly what they did. Also, I have no reason to believe getting a new battery will fix my iPhone, especially after they lied so blatantly about planned obsolescence.

> ... and then proceed to explain why that's exactly what they did.

Well they didn't, because "[...] to drive customer upgrades" is the key part they state they are not doing.

> lied so blatantly about planned obsolescence.

Again, they didn't, they aren't admitting to 'planned obsolescence', only attempting to prevent shutdowns.

> Well they didn't, because "[...] to drive customer upgrades" is the key part they state they are not doing.

When you write an entire article explicitly stating that you made your older products slower compared to newer ones, and then at the end you offer a promotion on batteries, you kind of are trying to "drive costumer upgrades".

On planned obsolescence: of course they won't admit it. But at the end of the day, they made old iphones slower, and new iphones faster. On purpose. How is this not planned obsolescence?

They did not categorically make all old iPhones slower. If the iPhone reported healthy battery statistics it clearly wasn't affected. This is demonstrated by the scores of people who replaced their battery and saw the performance increase.

If the change had simply made all iPhones 6 and 6S throttle down CPU 20% then replacing the battery wouldn't 'fix' anything. That would certainly be planned obsolescence.

Given that there is no scenario where they would literally say that, we have to judge by their actions and not their words.

What they said "[wouldn't] degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades"

What they did "degrade the user experience"

I can't think of any reason they would do that in good faith instead of simply telling users that their battery is old, this is why your phone is shutting down, please replace it.

> I think this is a good response, and I think a lot of the outrage over this issue is overblown

No it is not, unless you don't own iPhone 6(S) OR haven't updated iOS.

I don't know any good reason for them not to make ast2 and the battery health check available directly, other than to promote sales and additional door swings at their retail locations.

I've always hated how opaque iOS is; Android allows wayyyy more insight into data/battery stats, and most Android phones (unless carrier locks them down) allow the user to dial a #code to test most features.

Hopefully, Apple will change their tune going forward.

You can get some of the battery stats via the (Mac) app coconutBattery: http://www.coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/

There are iOS apps to check the battery stats on an iDevice. Example: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/battery-life-check-runtimes/...

(I have no affiliation with the app, just a satisfied user)

I agree it's a good response, both marketing wise (the compensation in the form of cheaper upgrade) and technically (the improved health visibility).

Regarding your concerns:

1) The software update that improved the power management was released for iPhone 6 and later only according to the article.

2) They state "Early in 2018". I think this is a pretty conservative, yet realistic estimate, considering they don't want to risk the user experience.

"Early in 2018" might mean beginning of January, because 2017 seems unrealistic for a feature like that, especially since today is the last working day for this year.

My wife’s 6+ was incredibly slow after the iOS upgrade.

My 6+ drained the battery incredibly quickly. I was told that upgrading the iOS would fix that problem [0]; it didn’t. Instead it slowed my phone to the point of being unusable.

If I’d have known replacing the battery would have fixed both of them, I’d have done that. Instead, I stupidly bought two new, very expensive phones. Since we were already locked into the Apple ecosystem (with paid apps and media), we bought iPhones.

This does nothing to compensate or win back the trust of customers like me.

[0] https://i.imgur.com/OYZr7zd.png

And, cynically, they don't care as much as they should about this lost trust, because:

> Since we were already locked into the Apple ecosystem (with paid apps and media), we bought iPhones.

I feel that iPhone vs Android is the current Holy War [1], and it's just as contentious as Mac vs PC, Windows vs Linux or even vim vs emacs. (PC, Linux and vim, of course!)

1: http://catb.org/jargon/html/H/holy-wars.html

> This does nothing to compensate or win back the trust of customers like me.

What is it that you want Apple to do to make you personally feel better?

There's nothing that Apple can do here; trust is hard earned and easily lost. Apple just lost however much of trust the grandparent had accumulated over the years.

Trustworthiness aside, Apple as a hardware company has made many questionable choices that makes me rethink purchasing their hardware. (headphone jack and the touch bar being the most egregious) I don't think I'll be getting the next macbook if these don't get addressed.

This is an appropriate response. Much better than google selling phones that are just barely crawling after not even 6 months of very average use..

step one should be removing google from your phone (android or otherwise) and limiting reliance on all their services.

How would you remove Android from an Android phone?

LineageOS with microG [1], microG in general, or installing another port of an OS such as Ubuntu Touch or SailfishOS. The Fairphone [2] can run any of these OSes, without unlocking the bootloader and without rooting the phone.

[1] https://lineage.microg.org

[2] https://www.fairphone.com

Android =/= Google: you can easily have an android phone with zero Google services if you choose a phone supported by one of many AOSP-based OSes.

Even with stock Android you can skip setting up a Google account, turn on "Unknown Sources", and direct-download an alternative app store like F-Droid. It probably still feeds them telemetry, but you're not locked in to any of their cloud services.

Google services and apps are constantly phoning back to HQ, the important part is getting that off your device...just like most other apps, facebook included.

It's a legitimate question. Frankly, the idea of a phone's performance drastically changing over the course of one(1) version upgrade should aggrivate someone more than this. How can it be acceptable for a single release to "slow a phone to a crawl"?

This response makes sense. They screwed up communicating the issue of battery life to the masses that apparently don't know batteries wear out. They're fixing it, they're biting into their revenue with a mea culpa price cut, and they're making the OS more communicative of this nuance of phone performance.

People know batteries wear out, but the expected behaviour is the phone lasting less hours between charges, or even unexpected shutdowns, but definitely not degraded CPU performance.

That has never happened before, there was no precedent for that, and no way of knowing it was a battery issue. The only solution for most people was buying a new phone.

They're not biting into their revenue. They are doing the minimum possible to maximize their revenue given the news is out.

How about be more open and acknowledge problems sooner?

While Apple always eventually gets to the right response, they can sometimes take too long to do so. In the case of these iPhone batteries, I think Apple's response was relatively timely.

But there have been cases where well known problems took over a year to acknowledge and remedy (like the early 2011 15" Macbook Pro GPU problems).

This story broke less than 2 weeks ago. So 10 business days (minus holidays) to put together a corporate response that affects hundreds of millions of devices seems pretty damn quick.

As soon as iOS 11 came out, there were widespread complaints from iPhone 6 owners. Your timeline is about determining the cause which had to sadly be done independently. Ask yourself why they had to wait for outrage about the cause for this response instead of the symptoms (which should have provoked research into the cause)?

Ok, if you read my post, I did say "In the case of these iPhone batteries, I think Apple's response was relatively timely."

But even then, my comment is only with respect to the response being timely relative to the problem becoming publicly known.

If you take a cynical view that Apple knew what the side effects were a year ago when they released the software update but chose not to disclose it in the release notes, then the response was not timely.

The story was relevant in July, when they released the 10.2 update. They should have had something in place before they released that update.

I think they could offer free battery replacement for affected models for the next year, and, more permanently, a 1 hour or less turnaround for battery replacement or a loaner program.

They could offer to buy back any functioning iPhone 6S at an above market rate from anyone who recently purchased a new phone. Its sort of a crazy idea, but close to what people want.

> Its sort of a crazy idea, but close to what people want.

Of course, what people want is free iPhones. Apple isn’t going to do it just because it’s what everyone wants.

Don't send fake apologies like "We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down."

Be transparent in all of these surreptitious actions henceforth. Give more power to users to make their own decisions about browser, battery, OS, etc. But they won't. So I guess the answer to your question is to change the type of people that they are, which is an unrealistic request of course.

> Give more power to users to make their own decisions about browser, battery, OS, etc. But they won't.

To be fair: what do you expect from Apple? Power to the power users? Because that’s not happening.

I actually would say yes. Come out with a Pro model of the iPhone that lets you pick which OS And Battery you want as well as expandable storage. This would get me to buy one...

I don't expect it and I know it's not happening. I was just answering what they could do to make some personally feel better as was originally asked.

Make batteries easily replaceable.

Yup, but Apple innovated the non-user replaceable battery with the iPhone. They set the trend, the rest followed. Before that, in the 90s and 00s we had user replaceable batteries.

On top of that, the iPhone 7, 8, and X make it significantly more difficult and cumbersome to replace the battery. See the iFixit guides. Even with the iPhone 6 you need special screwdrivers and tools.

let us downgrade to iOS 10

Questions like this always perplex me. People aren't asking for apple to do something. They're asking for them to not do something.

How about free battery replacement? That's not asking much. The solution to underclock to make sure the device doesn't go off is a hack. A cool hack, because it ensures the device stays somewhat useable, but a temporary one. Which also targets devices which don't suffer from the problem.

And it stayed under locked even when running on a/c power.

This is the first real argument I've heard on this. Everything else has been noise about apple slowing phones to rip people off.

Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

To be fair, they said iOS upgrade may help fix the problem, and I agree that they were probably just saying "update so I can check that off my list of things to recommend."

The battery issue is unrelated to your slowdowns if you were experiencing them constantly. Lost in all the media reports is that the throttling only happens at peak system power demand. My 6s Plus also was constantly slow until last week, when I backed it up, wiped it, and restored. Now it's as fast as ever, on the latest iOS.

We take the underlying computer for granted, but apparently the iPhone can benefit from a clean install to clean out always-running rogue processes.

This is not true according to my experience. See https://imgur.com/a/VH0Bs. Note that in my case the performance restoration came about after I had my battery replaced -- no data wiping or other system cleaning occurred.

> Lost in all the media reports is that the throttling only happens at peak system power demand.

Throttling at least occurs during app loading. Apple admits as much and it was true (subjectively) in my experience. If loading an app qualifies as "peak system power demand" your point is kind of lost because loading apps is something everyone with a mobile device does very frequently.

I can't claim to know what was going on with your phone, of course. But artificial benchmarks that push the system to its limits seem more likely to trigger this behavior than everyday usage, so I wouldn't take those results as evidence. I didn't see the app loading bullet point and agree with you there.

In my own case, everything was slow. Loading apps, loading web pages, whatever. And the difference after a clean install now is huge. Went back and did the same to an old iPad that I stopped using for its sluggishness, and it's usable again.

Complex devices, so there's certainly going to be a complex set of problems, but I think that some of it is due to us taking Apple's message that iOS devices are appliances to heart, whereas the truth is that these portable computers still need mysterious maintenance rituals. It's been impressive, but Apple's still got some work to do to make these things bulletproof.

I'd assume that these processors use the same 'race to sleep' philosophy that Intel CPUs have been using for a while, which would mean that peak power draw would be requested very frequently in short bursts.

The degree of throttling that seems to be occurring does seem to be quite excessive. Excessive enough that I wonder whether they've had unexpected battery degradation in the field, or unexpected degradation of the power delivery circuit, or unexpectedly high load consumption or some kind of fault with the SoC.

Either that or they have just pushed the envelope a little too much knowing that their customers are likely to get fed up and buy new phones... hmmm...

I had a very similar experience with my 6+ but instead of buying iPhone I finally jumped ship and bought Essential Phone (Android). (I also changed my Apple Watch 1 to Nokia Steel HR as a result of ecosystem change)

If only I knew that replacing battery would make my 6+ usable again I would remain iPhone user.

> Since we were already locked into the Apple ecosystem

How is that a thing? Media - you should be able to move. And how much do the apps that you actually use cost? You could apparently afford 2 new Apple phones... you can't be truly locked in

Being locked into the Apple ecosystem is mainly because:

1) Important historical data you can't move out - like iMessages

2) Apple Music - Your curated playlist is just that without actual songs (Of course you can recreate and start from scratch here)

3) Apps/Games - Specifically where the account is tied to your apple account and you have ample progress be it in app purchases or unlocking features on apps (which can really add up)

4) Your family - My entire family, wife, parents, sisters, neices/nephews and brother in law are all on iPhone and we all share the same Apple family plan for music and purchases. We also share location information so we know where each other is at once - This is done through Apple's find friends app.

#4 is the most important one. Because the habit of many individuals has to be changed in order for me to get out. Which is not impossible but it's just a lot of work (teaching my senior parents android? not worth it imo). And this also comes back to having our group messages in iMessage and my family loves going back to reference something or look at pictures we send each other.

I traded my 6 in early but I put the blame of slowness on the iOS upgrades reasoning that each version added more bloat. I do enjoy my 8s and don't regret the upgrade. I only annoyed at most that Apple didn't fully disclose the issue and perhaps the performance hit they chose was a bit over the top

> This does nothing to compensate or win back the trust of customers like me

You simply behaved exactly the way that Apple predicted you would (preferring to spend money over the inconvenience of migrating your data to Android).

What does "locked in the Apple ecosystem" imply? Apps that don't have a satisfactory equivalent on Android, integration between Apple devices or general usability/user experience?

Probably having tons of photos, contacts, email and whatnot in the apple cloud instead of Google or Amazon or local.

That's relatively trivial to switch. If anything it would be the ecosystem of purchased applications that you still intend to use.

Other than that, nothing should really keep you "locked-in" on iOS. Not even iMessage. You can use WhatsApp or FB Messenger with friends or family. It's not a big deal.

Google and Apple also both offer "switch" software that makes transferring the critical parts a trivial affair.



I still like iOS better and don't intend on switching but the only "lock in" I feel exists is the years of sunk cost I have in purchased apps I still use.

I would disagree about iMessage though. I have older family members on iOS that would not use another messaging or video chat app. Our chat experience would simply degrade to stock SMS.

Facebook - really?

You will be surprised on how Messenger is like iMessage of messenger apps in some countries outside the US.

I hope it doesn’t get that way in this country outside the US.

Well, can you return the two new phones?

You might not have trust but yet you have 2 new iPhones.

You realize you are locked-in into a proprietary ecosystem. Clearly, that is bad for you and customer-unfriendly. But I wonder why you don't take action, and get alternatives that don't lock you in. Is this an example of the sunken cost fallacy?

>> you are locked-in into a proprietary ecosystem

Ok, so what do we do? Sell iphone ((or android phone)) and then.. get what?

With Android you are not necessarily forced into a locked-in ecosystem. I use a Google-free Android phone. I can watch movies and listen to music, talk to people and chat. And I'm free to take my data and move to another device.

So, yes, extracting all of your data Apple is not withholding from you, getting another device, and then selling the Apple devices is what I would start with.

Also, I would keep an open eye for neither Android nor Apple devices. The Librem 5 might become an excellent alternative.

most popular android phones have large development communities[0] behind them. Removing the default [Android] OS that's ridden with spyware, including always-on Google Services, is critical to getting control over your phone.

Flashing something like LineageOS (formerly CyanogenMod) is the best way to get started with a lean android os

[0]- forum.xda-developers.com

How much can I trust those ROM builders, though? If I use anything other than the official LineageOS builds (e.g. if there are none for my device, or only nightly ones) I can't even be sure that the binaries that people upload match the source code they publish, right?

They might even not publish the source, and if they do, what are the chances that anyone has audited it?

you only have to install what you trust. Why go beyond LineageOS? Just stick to that, get Xposed and a good firewall. Have control over what your apps send back to HQ.

>> I use a Google-free Android phone. I can watch movies and listen to music, talk to people and chat.

Is that somehow impressive? Every smartphone since 1980 can do that.

>> And I'm free to take my data and move to another device.

So what. People with Androids and Iphones can, and do, move to another device, data included. So what is your point.

It's not impressive. However, it shows that I don't need to abstain from modern uses of my device.

The first ancestor of this comment chain is saying, that they were locked-in partly because they couldn't move media out. This contradicts you.

>> The first ancestor of this comment chain is saying, that they were locked-in partly because they couldn't move media out. This contradicts you.

Sorry, you are just making things up. The first ancestor did not complain about moving media out. That is something that you invented.

Btw I do not know what your purpose here is... lying... to get what? Upvotes? Are these really worth... this? Just asking.

They didn't state it directly, but indirectly.

The exact quote is:

> Since we were already locked into the Apple ecosystem (with paid apps and media), we bought iPhones.

So, they are locked-in into the ecosystem partly because of media. This directly implies they can't move their media out, for else they wouldn't be locked-in.

I'm not lying, and received no Upvote, still I'm responding. Actually, I think I'm risking downvotes for responding to a rather angry comment without content for the topic of the link. It's simply that you asked, so I answer.

Yelling at commenters that they have an "upvote agenda" for being educational and informative, by giving useful advice....it seems rather crude. Please be a little more thoughtful and give others the benefit of the doubt. Even if you work for Apple's marketing department..

So you say that I accuse people of having "agenda" (and, presumably, such accusations are bad), then you accuse me of having agenda.

That's funny. I hope you can see how it is funny.

I actually specified a reason for the agenda, while you meandered about the posters' personal characteristics. Quite different. If you work for Apple, we can all understand the intrinsic bias you would have toward Apple doing something questionable or wrong. In fact, you sidestepped whether or not this is true - to do a bid for false equivalency. Do you or do you not work for Apple? Feel free to drop the mic and not reply if you cannot by the bounds of your contract.

Make changes over time. When other devices are due to be replaced, make sure they work with multiple vendors or ideally, using open standards. Then when your iPhone is up next for replacement, you won't be locked in. Consider lack of lock-in a real feature worth trading for other nice-to-haves, such as price, convenience or features.

One thing is not buying into the marketplace. Use free apps, use web services, use a home server.

I made a single app purchase in the last 5 years so I don't feel too locked-in, at least other than habit.

Not really. It is an evaluation of the cost of migrating to a different ecosystem and set of workflows.

My guess is that iOS 11 is much more to blame for slowdown that users are experiencing, myself included. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to be resolved -- even if I replace my battery for $30, my iPhone 6 will still be worse than it was in August.

> Apple is reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 — from $79 to $29...

> Early in 2018, we will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.

There we go.

It took too much trouble and too long for it to happen, but Apple is stepping up and doing the right thing.

Actually, the cost of battery replacement is now excellent. If they hadn't screwed this up by not communicating what was going on, I think they could have easily justified $49 - $59.

So I take the drop to $29 as a tangible apology, which I appreciate. (Well, personally, I've already replaced my battery using a $25 kit from Amazon, but obviously that's not viable for the great majority of iPhone owners.)

This isn't the first time this has happened to Apple. They use to not sell replacement batteries for the original iPods, and when people called in to complain, they were often told to buy an entire new iPod. This was settled in a lawsuit:


Another important note is this battery replacement cost only cover the iPhone6 and up. That's only the 2015 release. That's still lubricious. If we had devices as powerful as today's cellphones that cost $500+ in the early-90s, losing support after 2~3 years would be lubricious.

In 2012 I remember seeing someone with the first generation iPhone EDGE (pre-3G). That's right; the thing was like 6? 7 years old? He really only used it on Wi-Fi. EDGE data was painful, but it was still his primary/only phone for another year.

The throwaway economy saddens me, and this move doesn't really do enough to prevent the continuing pileup of e-waste being shipped on boats to China and Africa.

Agreed. It’s also a waste of human labor to throw away devices when they could still be made useful with some simple repairs. To go further, it is wasteful to design hardware to be disposable rather than repairable and reusable.

People with jobs I wouldn’t want to do work very hard to bring us these devices, and the earth gives up resources to mine, transport, and shape the materials. Throwing things away when they could last 5-10x as long consumes our precious resources and wastes our collective capital.

Finally I’ll say that a lack of open software support contributes to this. If I could flash alpine linux on an old iPhone, Nexus, or Samsung, I could find great uses for the old hardware. Such a project is now underway (Alpine linux for Mobile), but mobile devices are still a morass of unpatchable secret binaries with glaring security holes.

I know we can better use our resources than to throw a two or three year old flagship phone in the trash or let it waste away in an old drawer, but it will take us demanding more of manufacturers and calling them out for their waste before they take action on it.

It's because everything is so cheap nowadays, because all the externalities that we worry about (pollution, resources running out, etc.) are left for the public and future generations to bear, with those who actually cause those externalities not paying their dues.

Unfortunately, I don't see this changing within our culture of mindless consumerism and a governance system based on what is essentially legalized bribery ("lobbying").

Who are these magical "they" we own Apple we vote in people in congress and on and on.

That's quite a simplification of the situation. While shareholders technically "own" a company, they usually don't have that much influence over a companies policies.

This holds even more true with matters that will cost the company a lot of money while giving no added value to the shareholders, such as those externalized costs by polluting the environment.

Why would any Apple shareholder willingly take a hit to their portfolio just for a "nice feeling in the tummy about having done the right thing"? Not to mention that with most publicly traded companies there's only one "right thing": Increase shareholder value, everything is optimized around that and pretty much only that.

And sure you can vote people into Congress, but what leverage do you have that those people actually stick to their word once they are there? Imho that's one of the major flaws with most representative democracies: There's only positive voting, you can't "vote out" people who didn't hold up their end, you can only try to replace them with somebody who got more votes and hope he/she keeps their word.

In the end, this is also a question of how do we want our economies to be built: For supposedly perpetual gains and growth or for a sustainability which accounts for the actual scarcity of resources not easily measured and accounted for, like a clean environment.

Politicians in the US do not do what their constituency wants. This is before getting into the numerous issues like gerrymandering, lobbying, lack of education and informed public, propaganda and social media, etc.

As far as owning Apple, unless you are a major (read: majority) holder, good luck trying to make any difference because the actual majority holders want the profits, and they are not (as much) concerned about the externalities involved.

> Politicians in the US do not do what their constituency wants.

Actually they do, if enough of them care loudly enough to organize and push back. Constituent participation in the ACA Repeal debate earlier this year caused the measure to fail. They had to sneak a small, partial repeal into the huge tax bill they just passed. When the dust settles, blowback from that sneak might cost more then a few their jobs.

99+% of all laws by content are not going to enter the public's awareness. Aka, if a tax bill is 1000 pages people may notice 10 pages worth of changes at the very high end, but that's about it. The average is far worse with many bills especially at the state or local level simply ignored in their entirety.

In practice this basically rounds to zero on most issues, especially over time.

That's why people largely vote on lines of ideology and hot-button issues; they're (ostensibly) voting on character and judgement, leaving the minutiae to Congress and bureaucrats to figure out.

Otherwise, what's the point of Congress if we aren't going to leave it to them to figure things out?

The point is there should not be a far-away Congress with such large powers. It worked when there were 13 states clustered along one coast. Now it's its own empire-building entity with little practical oversight.


What's your point? Neither you nor me personally can tell Apple what to do, and certainly not congress.

That's the point of my pessimism – modifying your own behaviour does not make any difference. Even if millions of people boycotted iPhones that would still be a smaller loss for Apple than changing how they're doing things, because doing things right is suicidally expensive when most of your customers don't care. An even smaller loss would be doing some marketing to make most of boycotters ambivalent enough to forget the whole thing.

Using Apple just as an example, could be any company or government.

We can't because we do not care enough. You don't have to boycott Apple largest apple shareholders are pension funds so intermediaries owning shares of Apple on your behalf.

> We can't because we do not care enough

There's a difference between "me" and "we". "We", the majority, could, if we cared. "I", alone or even in a sizeable minority group, can't make a difference, regardless of how much I care.

People can certainly be very self centered, but a big part of this _collective_ culture of either caring or not caring for various things has been manufactured entirely artificially by governments and corporations alike.

Apple makes great long-lasting Hardware. That being said the unreplaceable battery design is obviously driven by a clear Market Force to sway you into buying a new phone

> Apple makes great long-lasting Hardware.

Six months ago I would've agreed with you. After getting a touch bar MacBook Pro for a work computer? Not so much. I don't like the ergonomics at all, but I'm more concerned about out-of-warranty costs.

Thunderbolt glitches aside (it used to kernel panic fairly regularly upon resuming from sleep, more so if I had plugged/unplugged it into the TB3 hub), it took about two weeks before the keyboard started acting up. About 50-75% of the space bar actually works. The left command key isn't centered in its bore properly and sticks with some regularity. There's something rattling inside now too.

I'm in the market for a replacement personal laptop and, for the first time, I've doubts about the longevity of the Apple product.

Also recently I finally dumped my old black MacBook off at a electronics recycling place. Apple keyboards have really gone to crap. Yes, the non-touchbar MacBook Pros had really mushy, nasty keyboards... but the touch bar slim keyboard pales even in comparison to the keyboards the polycarbonate MacBooks got.

At least the aging MacBook Air, while not retina, is still available and is evidently the last machine with the "old" style (good) keyboard.

I've used the new keyboard, and the reduced travel doesn't bother me, but the numerous reports of failed keys to the degree of "I just wanted to clean the fan"[0] level[1] is keeping me away.

My 2013 Air is still an excellent machine though...so is the Mac Mini, if only a cheaper NUC wasn't a better option in every regard other than it doesn't (natively) run macOS. :(

[0]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpCJzdWxEbQ

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdS3tjEIqUA

Nah, the chicklet keyboards were all crap. Even the polycarbonate MacBook ones. That old MacBook chassis was at least serviceable so that when the keyboard died on mine (after about five years) I bought a stack of top cases and replaced it.

The early MacBook Pros and the aluminum and titanium PowerBooks had excellent keyboards. I put up with the subpar keyboards because the rest of the machine was generally pretty nice and OSX is/was leaps and bounds above the alternatives.

The new keyboards are totally defective (especially v1)

This is a known issue? Great... And, yes, the work machine is a 2016 model.

Yes they reinforced the keys on v2 not too long after initial release because they have low durability especially when dust gets in as it causes the connectors to break when the keys are depressed.

Not sure how nice Apple is being with replacements. My IT department was lazy and just ordered some replacement keys off the Internet for $20/each...

> Such a project is now underway (Alpine linux for Mobile)

Check out PostmarketOS. It's made a lot headway into attempting to create a single, semi-universal image that can be used on multiple devices.

What bothers me about PostmarketOS is that they are focusing on pretty much everything except 3d data/phone calls/texts.

You know, those reason I carry a mobile phone in my pocket in the first place.

I hope they don't lose focus. Imho having a popular device being well-supported would be a killer feature. A bit like a flagship model, you know.

I was surprised to find out my son's robotics team used old phones as robot controllers. No idea what software they used.

If it's FTC robotics, they typically use an app framework that manages the wireless connection and enforces some game rules (ex: autonomous vs driver controlled period), and they just program in Robot behavior around that.

Or at least that's how it was when I left a couple years ago.

> It’s also a waste of human labor to throw away devices when they could still be made useful with some simple repairs.

Are you sure? Assembly line production is highly efficient, that's why warranty service usually means "throw way the old one into the refurbish or recycle pile and give you a new one", not "fix your old one"

Which is a more efficient use of our labor? The manufacture of a phone with a removable battery or the manufacture of a phone with a non replaceable battery?

Both situations benefit from the efficiency of modern production lines, but in the former case that device can be easily refreshed by a lay person out in the real world while with the other phone, the same amount of manufacturing resources went in to a phone that only lasts two years.

No matter how “efficient” our modern manufacturing methods are, using them to make a device that lasts two years uses more resources per unit of delivered utility than using them to make something that lasts 5-10 years.

Also the reason why it’s cheaper to manufacture new than to repair is exactly because repair is not engineered in to the design. If you have to de solder a battery and crack a case to replace a LiPo, it’s going to be more costly than if you just remove some screws and pop out a connector.

There are phones with removable batteries, but consumers largely choose phones without removable batteries, and the market serves them.

It is possible that ecosystem lockin effectively prevents consumers from displaying affinity for removable batteries.

Where can I buy an iPhone with a removable battery? I didn’t realize I had that choice.

You can have removable battery, or top of the line phone. Choose one.

False choice, some people would pay extra for a removable battery. There's an entire market for external iPhone battery packs, which are heavier than a removable battery.

less and less phones with replaceable batteries among flagship ones.

> Assembly line production is highly efficient

The highlevel production may be, but rare-earth mining is incredibly dirty (and some of them, if not sourced from fair trade, directly fund warring groups), and IC manufacturing isn't exactly environment friendly too, lots of nasty chemicals used there.

There's quite a bit of work into recycling those, and Apple has already has the means of recovering much of it - pity people don't generally return their used phones to them, though. Your replacement battery is unlikely to be recycled better than when it's done in an automated manner on a fairly large scale.

Of course Apple can get away cheap because of that "people don't even try to recycle" thing. Forcing the industry to do the same thing that happened with bottles (everyone has to accept bottles over certain capacity they sell, and _pay for them_ — though right-wing governments are shuttering those programs) would work wonders, and likely be far better than the romanticised "repairability."

> far better than the romanticised "repairability"

I decide on my own what I want, which is to fix the damn thing if it's fixable and not spend 1000$ on a new one. And to fix it is "far better" than to recycle it, or to have it artificially slowed without explanation and deceived into buying a new one.

Apple is not the company I once admired. Time passes, MS is slightly more ok and Apple is bad. Weird. I wouldn't have guessed in the early 2000's.

"And to fix it is "far better" than to recycle it"

Because what, because you say so? I mean, I can say it's far better to dress my phone up in a green skirt and hang it outside my window as a Christmas decoration then. About just as relevant.

"Time passes, MS is slightly more ok and Apple is bad."

You seem to have missed the lesson from the Apple thing: companies ain't your friends.

Recycling old phones in bulk may still be cheaper than individual phone repair.

My guess is it's not really much of a waste of human labor, but it is extremely energy inefficient. Energy used in production is generally many multiples of that used during operation. So extending usable lifetime versus manufacturing a new device is more energy efficient in most cases.

How can it not be a waste of human labor to have devices with artificial roadblocks to extended lifetime in place? We have sources of renewable energy, but human potential is the most valuable thing of all. Despite all our advances in manufacturing technology, they seem to be exploited largely to make more stuff faster that needs to be replaced sooner, and the humans never seem to benefit with a reduction in labor.

I think you mean ludicrous instead of lubricious, just fyi.

Apparently it's a real word!

Here's the excerpt from dictionary.com


lubricious [loo-brish-uh s] adjective

    arousing or expressive of sexual desire; lustful; lecherous

It kinda defeats the purpose of using the word if no one else understands what it means :)

Sexualising battery replacement schemes needs to stop.

Rule 34 cannot be stopped.

It's also an alternate spelling for libricous, which dictionary.com defines as: adjective 1. (of a surface, coating, etc.) having an oily smoothness; slippery. 2. unstable; shifty; fleeting.

So "shifty" could be what they were going for, but my sense of the other two words in definition 2 suggests that it's not quite accurate to use that sense of shifty.

The intended word was probably "ludicrous".

I doubt it. He's using it to mean "slippery" or "shifty." It's not a great use of the word, but that's probably the intention.

Doesn't fit the context.

Of course it does.


Maybe ridiculous?

It's a real word, but one that doesn't seem to fit in context nearly as well as the similarly spelled "ludicrous."

Thank you guys. Seeing it twice made me think someone should mention how aroused batteries were making the OP, but I'm glad to know there are some fellow folks who have this covered ;)

> no one else understands

I understand fine.


I'm still using my 2009 Nexus One. It is painfully slow, and won't run any modern apps, and I've tried to find a suitable replacement several times but it seems a shame to throw away a perfectly good phone and I just haven't found anything that is of comparable size and build quality without having to sacrifice screen resolution, FM radio, removable battery or microSD slot.

The update that ‘caused’ this issue only did so for the iPhone 6 and up so a replacement wouldn’t be necessary for older models.

Also, if you must keep using these old phones when they are no longer supported and have known and unpatched vulnerabilities, please be a good citizen and keep them off of our internet.

I find that very hard to believe. We've been witnessing these slow downs since the beginning

My 3G slowed to a crawl with an update. Made me switch to Android for a few phone till I realized Apple's software was way better.

I use a powerful xiaomi android phone and an ipad pro. Apart from the amazing apple pencil enabled apps which i would never use on an iPhone i can't see any way ios outperforms android.

Should be easy to prove that then now that it is clear what to look for.

There's a huge second hand market for iPhones so I'm guessing the majority of devices get trade/sold or at least held onto as spares until they are no longer viable.

The iPhone 6 was released September 9, 2014, which is about 3.3 years ago.

Exactly, only 3.3 years ago. :)

I still use a beat-up 6 with a wonderful patina and have no interest in upgrading. For me the 6 seemed to be the point where everything was "good enough". Until there's a big advance in what phones are and can do (a bit more than the iPhone X ha), I'd rather just repair what's there.

I still use a 6, and have a replacement OEM battery on the shelf in front of me. I'll get apple to do it instead, just as long as they don't upgrade my phone to ios 11 at the same time... I don't want a slower OS just to gain the ability of it telling me one reason why it might be slow.

Also - good to see confirmation id this comment I made recently: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15832402

Counterpoint; I upgraded from a 6 to an X - the screen and the camera are really truly so much better. The X has mostly replaced my mirrorless DLSR in a way the 6 couldn’t come close to.

I don't want to be glib here, but I think that the fact that you refer to your camera as a mirrorless DSLR (dslRs by definition have mirrors) is part of the reason why you can replace it with a somewhat better phone sensor.

There is nothing wrong with doing that, but it's possible because you have limited needs.

So because of communication error, you can dismiss your parent commenter as having “limited” needs? Seems a bit needlessly smug, don’t you think?

I also shoot with a EVIL system, specifically Fujifilm’s X system, and while my friends iPhone X I borrowed for a week won’t replace it entirely, it’s on a completely new level for smartphone photography and for the bulk of my photos it really can replace my camera!

Glibly saying “oh but it’s not a real camera and will never replace it” is missing the forest for the trees. Not only can it replace it in a lot of circumstances, it’s also an excellent addition to! Using the amazing screen with my cameras built in wifi makes processing and uploading images out in the field super simple.

Maybe this just goes to show how many people buy gadgets they don’t really need or know how to use.

It think that it's an insignificant mistake that nevertheless correlated with the user being somebody who probably doesn't look very hard at MTF graphs.

I don't shoot Fuji, but I have friends that do and I wouldn't use a phone for processing the results (for software reasons, the best raw converters for x-trans sensors are Capture One and Iridient, neither of which exists for iOS - it would be nice to be able to run a good converter on an iPad pro).

You wont get anything close to the bokeh provided by larger sensors. It is fine as long as you know what your tradeoffs are.

Bokeh is the quality of blur, not the quantity, and it’s determined mostly by the lens, not the sensor.

I was about to join this debate and then ran the numbers and realized I still don't get this right. I was going to say it's about sensor size and bigger sensors have shallower DOF.

Here's where I go when I need a refresher - Tony Northrup's explanations:


There's a lot of criticisms of his series, but they're often shallow (they don't seem to watch his whole video) and actually end up agreeing with him.

I'm not saying anything about sensor size or depth of field. I'm pointing out the misuse of the term "bokeh". Bokeh is not depth of field. It's the quality of out of focus areas. You want good bokeh when you have a shallow depth of field but bokeh is itself a subjective measure of quality, not quantity.

Calling depth of field "bokeh" is like calling focal length "framing".


He's sorta right in the sense that most people like a "relaxed" character in the out of focus areas which is very hard to achieve with tiny sensors and lenses (while for example basically every modern large format lens is extremely "creamy").

If the statement was that it’s hard to make a tiny lens for a tiny sensor with good bokeh, then I guess that could be correct (I actually don’t know if small lenses can produce pleasing bokeh). I read the comment as the common “bokeh=shallow depth of field” misunderstanding, though, because the focus was on sensor size rather than the lens.

OK let's talk about depth of field. DOF is both a function of sensor size and lens aperture. That's why small sensors even with 1.8 aperture have no bokeh comparable to 35mm at 1.8.

And anyway with very small sensors you can only get blurriness if you are extremely close to the subject, while 35mm and higher sensor formats allow for MUCH more creativity.

> OK let's talk about depth of field... small sensors even with 1.8 aperture have no bokeh comparable to 35mm at 1.8.

Bokeh is not depth of field. That’s the point.

Yes, small sensors cannot get extremely shallow depth of field. However, shallow depth of field is not bokeh. If you want to say that small sensors cannot achieve narrow depth of the field or massive subject separation or a “destroyed” background or whatever, fine. But don’t call it bokeh because that’s something else.

A lens could yield the same bokeh (blur quality) at f/2 and f/4 even though the depth of field (blur quantity) would be much different.

Oh yeah no denying the X improves on the 6, especially screen and camera. And if I took pics regularly I’d upgrade. One of these days...

What would make me personally enthusiastically pay a lot to upgrade would be a blazing fast e-ink display. Or a flexible, paper-like body that goes rigid when you’re holding it in your hand. Or a gizmo you can just keep in your wallet (maybe resting on your finger when you want to project a touch screen on your palm or on a bracelet for your arm).

More imaginatively, I suspect there’s a lot of potential for a new lo-fi platform that makes a different set of trade offs than the iPhone and its imitators. But every aspect of the design and production would need to be nailed though for it to be pulled off. And it would require a bit of a reshuffling of what we expect from our “body computer”.

I'm still using the 3GS I bought 2nd hand 5 years ago.

Only in the house as a backup phone left permanently on charge because the battery is 99% gone.

Even though it's a little heavy, the curves make it feel nicer in the hand to me than any phone Apple has produced since.

5s here and still running iOS 8 to avoid the planned obsolescence. The phone is still blazing fast, but in the last year or so I've been out of luck with installing a majority of the apps that I've wanted.

That sounds like a good experience.. /s

Sure, but Apple continued to sell the 5s until 2016.

The 5S was released in Sept 2013 and still runs the latest version of iOS. If they were still selling it in 2016 it will likely be supported with software updates until 2019. For comparison the Galaxy S4 was released in April 2013 and received its last update to Android 5.0.1 in April 2015.

At least it's very easy to run 7.1.2 and soon 8.1 even on S3 (I do), while with iPhone you're completely at Apple's mercy.

Unofficial software downloaded as a binary blob from dodgy websites? I don’t miss that at all, though it’d be nice to be able to hack at my iPhone more.

What's so fishy about https://lineageos.org ?

What about official (but from OS, not hardware vendor) software downloaded as a source code easily compiled by yourself?

I run LineageOS on an old Moto G and think it's a great way for us technical people to keep our devices relevant beyond their intended lifetimes. For people less technically inclined I will always recommend Apple devices, however if Apple keeps rushing out buggy software releases this may change.

And people did buy it, at least in poorer countries... I know it was on sale for less than 330 € in Serbia (istyle.eu/rs).

Even back when batteries were easily replaced, I don’t think that stopped people from getting new phones every couple years.

I still have a perfectly useable Android with a replaceable battery.

People still upgraded right past it to built in batteries.

The build quality of phones back then usually didn't last longer than the battery. Keypads would die, screens would stop working, accidental damage, etc.

With phones that are now waterproof, dustproof, and have powerful CPUs and cameras, the time to replace them has lengthened. I know a bunch of people who have owned iPhones for 4+ years and were very satisfied until they finally upgraded.

The phone I have is a Google Galaxy Nexus. It only has 3 buttons, power, volume up and volume down. 6 years old, still works.

I don’t think replaceable batteries were phased out on flagship phones that long ago.

Still works is different than still working really, really well and feeling comparable to phones on the market today.

My concern is that is some lawmakers get their way; this is not just a US concern but there is an interesting lawsuit in France pending; we could end up never owning devices.

As in, if the mandated lifetime exceeds what is efficiently manufactured one direction they could go is the phone is never owned by the consumer. Its a lease.

Option number two is simply higher prices with replacement costs built into the sale price but not disclosed as the reason for the elevated cost.

Option three, We could end up having devices with reduced battery time so they can use the space in a managed manner to give similar run time over the course of the mandated lifespan. Initially they could increase battery size which normally would give more time but instead limit how much per charge you get to use. (example, my car has 18kw but only 14.2 is usable per run)

Hahaha "lubricous" - what a fantastic typo!

I mean, the official definition is: "smooth and slippery with oil or a similar substance."

So I guess OP could've meant Apple is being a sneak like a snake oil salesman?

Had to look that one up, it was worth the effort.

I can't read.

The first generation iPhone was released in 2007 so the device you're talking about would have been at most 5 years old at the time. Nevertheless that's still considered extremely old for a modern device.

(For reference, my current device is a 4 year old iPhone 5S because I like the form factor, and it still does what I need. It's just about getting to the point where I'd like to upgrade it, but that's mainly because I keep running out of storage space.)

> The throwaway economy

Apple is thinking about this, see the Liam[0] robot that takes an iPhone down to constituent parts, and consider that the aluminum, steel, and glass are all quick turnaround raw materials.

It's a start.

[0]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYshVbcEmUc

Still got my iPhone 3G and it’s suprisingly fast with iOS 4. Had to downgrade though to get back some performance

You act as if there is no method to replace batteries for the previous generations of iPhone.

What about those of us that already paid to have the battery replaced? I was having the automatic shut down issue and Apple was telling me the battery was just fine. Since they refused to warrantee the battery I just ended up paying for another battery.

This was before the issue was really well-known. They were acting as if I was making it up. But yeah, anytime the phone was below 50% battery life I was in danger of having the phone immediately turn off. In my line of work this is not acceptable. Above anything else I need a working reliable phone.

> What about those of us that already paid to have the battery replaced?

Devil’s advocate: one doesn’t complain if they buy something the day before it goes on sale at a store. It’s just bad luck.

But this is intended as an apology, not a sale. Apologies don't come with big asterisks if they want to be taken seriously. And PacketPaul's experience was even worse because the reps did not believe his story. You can always take to twitter if you want to get something like this fixed, however.

Actually, you do complain and then get the store to match it or use your credit card price protection.

Or just go to the cashier and tell them you want to return it and buy it again at the discounted price. They don't even make you walk to pick a new one.

If you had it replaced in an Apple Store I'm guessing they'll make it right for you. Call the store and tell the automated system you want to speak to a manager. It'll get you to a real person and given the PR around this issue I'd be surprised if they didn't give you something of at least this much value.

What about the people who bought new phones because of performance issues?

Your issue wasn't because of a faulty battery though, it was normal battery degradation. You would have had to pay for a new battery in any case. If it was less than a month ago you might want to try to press them to refund the difference, but otherwise you did get a tangible benefit from the new battery in the time since you replaced it, so there's a cost for that.

Normally degraded batteries are still usable at 50% charge. If the remaining capacity was truly unavailable they should not have been displaying a fictitious state of charge. But of course, then the pitchforks would be out right away with no chance of hiding this slick way to force upgrade sales.

The real reason why they implemented this extreme method of "protecting" the battery is that they are deathly afraid of what will happen when these older batteries are fully discharged.

This happened regularly on all my laptops, though, so it doesn't surprise me it was happening to people's phones. Reported percentage was based on design capacity instead of last-full capacity, and shifted so 100% is "Full". So when the percentage reaches right about the point where all that's left is the degraded part of the battery, it suddenly jumps to about 3%.

(Since figuring that out almost a decade ago, I've been using my own battery-monitor script to see both percentage and health, so it's easy to see what's going on and just how bad my battery has gotten. Maybe the default notifications are better now?)

Go to Apple and ask them to refund the difference. If you got it replaced at an Apple store, they'll have it all logged and will do this if it matches the issue being described.

> It took too much trouble and too long for it to happen, but Apple is stepping up and doing the right thing.

Because they were hit by lawsuits.

Do not expect that this is a sudden understanding of customers' needs by Apple. They knew perfectly well what they were doing and made the choice to hide this feature. They would not have changed it without these lawsuits.

> So I take the drop to $29 as a tangible apology

I take it as an admission of guilt that they were overcharging consumers 50$ of pure margin for this.

> It took too much trouble and too long for it to happen, but Apple is stepping up and doing the right thing.

The right thing would have been for Apple to either stop this behaviour or give users the option (retain performance or retain battery life). They're doing neither.

I disagree. I think they're doing the right thing here.

Most users shouldn't need to manage their battery performance actively at all. What's next? Users should manage their own RAM usage? Absolutely not.

They're giving away batteries for free, and giving users more visibility into the health of their battery in an upcoming update. That's the right thing.

So you think a Popup

"Hey you're battery is going bad. Do you want to [keep the performance] or [save the battery life]?"

Would be too much??

It’s not about battery life. It’s about not pulling so much current that it suddenly shuts down the entire device. Why do so many people think this is just about making a charge last longer?

The hardware/software behavior could be 100% justified and it still wouldn't excuse the fact that they've hidden it all this time, driving millions of people to buy new phones when they really just needed a new battery.

I completely agree, I just want criticism to rest on the facts. There’s far too much useless noise because of this misunderstanding.

Because it fits their biases better. Simple as that.

No. Because it is still about battery life. If it were only about the spurious shutdown then the throttling would happen once in a while, but the reports are about long lasting performance reductions, sometimes down to 50%.

If the battery is in a state where the only solution to prevent sudden shutdowns is to continuosly throttle the system to 50% then my hardware is seriously degraded and someome REALLY needs to tell me that.

It is about battery life. This is how the battery should be measured: 100% -> Doesn't charge more 0% -> Do no provide enough voltage/current for safe operation at current power mode.

At 5% the phone could switch (configurable) to extended battery mode (low power mode) and alert the user.

As the battery ages the user will notice better a faster battery discharge (from 100% to 0%) and not the performance slowdown.

Your demonstrating the same ignorance the post you’re replying to is complaining about. It is not physically possible for the phone to draw sufficient power off a degraded battery to power it in high performance modes. The battery just doesn’t provide enough electrical current. Apple isn’t stepping back performance on degraded batteries to keep battery life. They are doing it to keep peak current draws at a level the battery can support so that the phone doesn’t hard shutoff when it is receiving insufficient power.

I think you don’t read the comment. If the battery do not have enough power the level would be 0%. The time from 100%(plugged in) to 0% will depend on how degraded is the battery. It is not difficult to understand. You are repeating Apple excuses. Mobile phones had been dealing with degrading batteries for a long time.

That’s not how batteries work. Degration over time causes a battery to not just store less total capacity on a “full” charge, but also to output less current at the required voltage. The latter is what is preventing the phone from operating under a full load at peak performance without a hard shut off.

The issue is the device shutting off while there is still charge on the battery, not the battery reaching 0% faster.

To be clear: 0% would be when current voltage or current mAh level is bellow what the phone needs to operate at maximum capacity.

“Voltage and mAh are two different, but interrelated, things. voltage is a measure of the electrical power a battery can deliver, while mAH (milli-Amp hours) is a measure of how long the battery will maintain usable voltage at a given output current.” https://www.quora.com/How-much-mAh-will-equal-to-1-v

It is the opposite. Batteries degradation acts as an internal resistance at rest (Rd) that increases over time. There is a second resistance (Rc) that increases as you discharge the battery. As you draw current (I) from the battery the nominal voltage decreases according to Omhs law V = Vn - I*(Rd + Rc).

You can plot different voltage charts as the battery discharges at different stages of degradation (increased Rb). As you know the peak current that phone drains at maximum load you know the minimum voltage it requires to operate. At this minimum voltage you show 0% (or a little higher so the phone can have enough power to gracefully shutdown).

What Apple is doing is slowing down the processor so it drains a smaller current reducing the minimum voltage the phone needs to operate extending the battery life (that also measures the time between 100% to 0%). This way you don't complain that an one year old phone battery is discharging too fast probably because of battery fault or wrong specification. There also a good side effect for Apple of decreased performance perception that induces to premature phone upgrades.

I think the question is:

"Hey you're battery is going bad. Do you want to [keep the performance] or [shutdown the phone]?"

You'd never want an instantaneous shutoff of your phone, which is what you'd get from a brownout. That's just asking for data corruption.

Multiply this idea times the six thousand other locations people think this should be done and you suddenly get an frustratingly unusable device.

Everyone gets upset that their pet setting isn't available, but nobody stops to think about the consequences of having everyone else's pet setting available.

And with that comment we are back at the root of the problem. Apple is the one to evaluate what is and what is not important to the user. And many people who are currently upset think they had their priorities wrong.

We can argue all day long what is and what really isn't important. The fact is they decided it isn't and the backlash showed quite strongly that it was wrong.

> The backlash showed quite strongly that it was wrong.

What backlash? This same scenario seems to play out practically every month: Apple does something that generates tons of negative comments from — as far as I can tell — people who don't actually use Apple products (removes the headphone jack, throttles performance for phones with aging batteries, releases phone with minor antenna issue, replaces TouchID with FaceID, the notch on the iPhone X, USB-C MBP, etc.). The next quarter, they announce record sales and continue their absolute domination in terms of both customer satisfaction and profit share in the overall market.

The simple reality is that these things are never as big of an issue as people out for blood make them appear (antenna issue, headphone jack, the Notch), or most consumers actually generally agree with the stance taken by Apple (throttle phones with dying batteries rather than unexpected shutoffs, FaceID).

Don't you think the response from Apple (lowering battery replacement costs, modifying the OS to show the user what is happening) is a clear indicator that they really fid feel a backlash rather than the usual Apple bashing by non Apple customers?

I don't. This is about the smallest possible response you can imagine. If anything it's Apple doubling down on their original decision — they think they made the right call, and they're standing by it, but throwing a bone to customers by offering essentially at-cost battery replacement.

And honestly? I think they made the right call, even if the implementation details were off. Phones shutting off randomly is something that appears common on Android phones but not on iPhones, and throttling them to prevent this was the right decision to make. Warning that this is occurring is something that, in retrospect, was warranted. But it's easy to see how the teams in question for implementing this could have underestimated the performance impact, the scale of how many phones this would affect, or both. And it's easy to see how adding a warning might have been considered a v2 of the feature, whereas v1 was the quick band-aid needed to ship to prevent a problem that might have affected large numbers of phones in the wild.

In my opinion, Apple has so much goodwill built up from making difficult-but-principled decisions, I'm more than happy to give them the benefit of the doubt. If anything, their response reinforces my belief that they thought this was the right decision from the get-go. They didn't roll back the feature as other companies would have done. They stuck by it because it's the right move for the vast majority of their customers.

Or maybe "How long do you want your battery to last?" Choose 6 hours, or 8, or 12.

“How often do you want your phone to suddenly shut off without warning?” [Never] [Sometimes] [Often]

Do we actually know the numbers (e.g. battery life and expected number of shutdowns) required to make any of these points more than moot? Because there are definitely values that would win hands-down for either side.

I don’t think we have any numbers, but the sudden shutdown problem was pretty frequent, enough that Apple issued a recall for one model and a lot of people saw it happen.

The batteries are not free. How about a user replaceable battery design?

The battery is user replaceable. If a minimum wage earner in the mall can do it with a few basic tools it isn’t that difficult.

If replacing the battery voids the warranty, that doesn't count as 'user replaceable' in my book.

If the phone is under warranty, why wouldn't you take it to Apple and let them replace it for free?

If replacing the battery voids the warranty, that doesn't count as 'user replaceable' in my book.

If the phone is in warranty then they’ll take care of it for you. If it’s out of warranty then it doesn’t matter.

How do you know the wage for battery replacement?

The trade-offs that come with that would completely destroy everything that makes iPhones great.

It was pretty fantastic on the Samsung hardware that was contemporaneous with many iPhone designs.

Sadly the Galaxies have jumped on that bandwagon.

Do you ever wonder if there's a reason why that's the case?

I'm sure it's cheaper to solder it in, and you don't have to make the components sturdy enough to stand up to repeated assembly and dissassembly.

I still hate it. It was nice to be able to have a stack of charged batteries and not worry about being away from an outlet for three or four days. Especially with a phone that had its USB port melted by a shoddy cable.

I don't think it's just about it being cheap; I think it's about literally making some sizes and configurations of phones work.

If you look at where the battery is currently (https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/2oa2QHEoq4Ke16su.m...) there's no way to make the battery accessible without letting you easily open the entire case.

It's just a trade-off, and a replacable battery isn't worth the trade-offs. I 100% agree with Apple on this.

Except that's exactly how Android phones solved that problem - removable backs. Want a bigger battery? Get one that comes with a bigger back plate, like the Galaxy S5 had. Also, before anyone mentions it, you can do this and still have an IP67 rating.

Apple has teams of engineers working on marginally different hues of silver/gray. They can spare a few to figure out a case lock mechanism that doesn't detract from aesthetics. For example, you still need a SIM tray, so hide the latch to release the edge in there. They could be crazy and follow the Android phones that use a combo sim and SD card tray to allow Apple users to add more storage, but then they couldn't charge a 500% mark up on 128GB of flash memory.

I don't understand people that give Apple a pass on clearly bad decisions that could be remedied by a simple 'Advanced' section in the settings or an almost imperceptible compromise on aesthetics (at least way less perceptible than a monster screen notch or the iTumor case).

Which all of a sudden makes it EXTREMELY hard to waterproof compared to what you’re working on right now, which was a big win on the 6S and seven.

Galaxy S5 was waterproof with a removable back. All the current waterproof phones have SIM card trays, mic holes, cord connectors, speakers, etc, so it might not be as 'extreme' as you're thinking. Just need a continuous rubber gasket and a tight fit. Of course making your phone out of materials that bend or shatter instead of flexing becomes a bigger problem, especially since the former offers no practical benefit beyond 'feel'.

"My USB port is melted and unusable but I don't want to replace it" is a real corner case in hardware design, don't you think?

Not everybody can afford to just go buy a new phone when some minor component fails. With replacable batteries, a busted usb port was an annoyance, but without, it makes an expensive and otherwise functional piece of technology into a paperweight.

Sure. But I had more in mind replacing the USB daughterboard or if necessary the mainboard, rather than the whole phone. Granted, that's still not necessarily cheap, but I'd be surprised to learn it cost significantly more than a stack of spare batteries...

Maybe if they made their iPhones that fraction of a millimetre thicker, they'd have the courage to bring back a headphone jack into their $1000 phones.

I know it's not common for people to say this out loud, but I spent $1200 on an iPhone last month, and

a. I don't care about a headphone jack, at all; I use Airpods and the experience is phenomenal

b. Consider me crazy, but I actually like my phones getting smaller and lighter

What if Apple is just making a phone for people like me, and is comfortable with those trade-offs?

> I don't care about a headphone jack, at all

Does "works for me" work for you as a reason for closing a software ticket?

Built-in speakers and bluetooth are probably the most common audio output cases for me, and I suspect it's that way for most people. It's totally fine and probably a good idea to recognize that and improve the experience on that front.

But complicating corner cases are a definite reality. If you're someone who was treating your iPhone as a digital musical instrument, for example, bluetooth's latency probably makes it a no go for you. But of course, that's too niche, not a market that Apple does or should have to care about, those people should be buying more complicated niche hardware, right? OK, let's use a "normal consumer" example: if you're someone who likes to connect your iPhone to a car stereo, then maaaybe bluetooth will work out for you, or maybe it's going to be an interesting challenge dealing with the auto/stereo manufacturer's implementation. A 1/8" aux input? Just works. And lets you charge your phone at the same time. Or at least it did.

And before someone says "well, get a dongle" -- a dongle isn't "just works." And that's the thing that bothers me so much about this. It's essentially a user-hostile decision for some portion of users, with no particularly compelling upside for the rest of users... but a thin margin of manufacturing savings and a nice accessories/integration play, I suppose. I fully expect that's just business for many enterprises and "just works" is an acceptable casualty, but I didn't expect it from Apple.

But I do now.

> I actually like my phones getting smaller and lighter

Surely there's a point of not only diminishing but actually vanishing returns. Maybe literally. I recognize that's not going to be the same for everyone, but for me "diminishing" started around the form factor of the original iPhone and I stopped seeing any particular utility in shrinking around the 4s.

It’s really simple:

1. It’s impossible for Apple to make a device that perfectly pleases everyone

2. Not all feature sets are possible

3. Apple constantly makes decisions about which trade-offs to make

Sometimes you’re just not the target market for a device a company makes. That’s ok, and it isn’t necessarily the fault of the company that such is the case, they just opted for a different feature set than the one you would have preferred.

It's kindof interesting that everything in your comment is true, and yet it's not clear that most of it is relevant in this case.

No one has introduced the standard of perfect pleasure here. The standard that has been introduced is one of both ability and ease in regards to what I'd think anyone would agree is a fundamental feature for a personal mobile device: getting audio to route from that device to common output devices or even arbitrary output devices.

If anyone thinks that standard is unreasonable or even not relevant to Apple's market, I'd be interested to hear about that.

As far as feature sets and tradeoffs go -- yeah, that's an argument that I find compelling in a lot of product discussions. But it really loses its power when we're talking about a feature that's been present in every. smartphone. ever. up until the iPhone 7 and non-Apple smartphones since. It's hard to take seriously the argument that keeping it just wasn't possible. Tradeoffs? Maybe. But good tradeoffs mean you gained something worth as much or more as what you traded away. I haven't come across any credible explanation of compelling features (let alone market-distinguishing features) the iPhone gained that required shedding the 1/8" audio jack. If you're in the know on this one, by all means, explain.

Overall, it seems more credible that maybe, just maybe, Apple underestimated the broad "just works" utility of the feature they removed here and actually got this one wrong. Or, possibly, "just works" wasn't a functioning value when it came to this decision.

Apple likes to set trends which means doing away with the past. The headphone jack is a 19th century invention and Apple feels that the time has come to make way for new tech as it has always done.

Add to the fact that they obsess over making their devices beautifully engineered by making them slimmer and lighter to increase portability. The more portable your hardware is, the more you are likely to use it and recommend it to others. Portability helps Apple sell more devices. This has been Apple's focus since Job's return.

A few examples:

1. They were one of the first laptop makers to do away with integrated CD/DVD drives because they saw that fewer and fewer people were using them. The tradeoff here is obvious: they figured that Internet speeds would improve to the point that it would eventually replace 4.7GB DVDs as the standard means of distributing software for most of their customers (read: people with high disposable income). This has happened.

2. Apple was the first to ship a mainstream device (iMac) that supported the USB standard (which they didn't invent). USB adoption helped obsolete older tech: serial, parallel and PS/2 ports.


3. The iPhone obsoleted keyboard-centric phone designs from BlackBerry, Nokia, Samsung etc which were widespread prior to 2007 to a more natural touch-centric interface. Apple had previously launched the failed Newton device but this time they made several complementary investments in the user experience that made them feel confident that touch interfaces had matured enough to become mainstream. Remember that the first iPhone didn't even have copy&paste, regardless, their bet against old tech paid off :).

The big difference that you are missing is that those other technologies that they got rid of had ready and working replacements. The headphone jack does not have a ready and working replacement yet.

So you consider wireless headsets/ear phones utilizing BLE as an unworthy replacement for the headphone jack? That's fine.

I'm not Apple or its representative, merely trying to help the grandparent see why Apple would do what they did.

And I'm just explaining why that is a bullshit. It's clear that the real reason Apple is doing this is to make more money by selling accessories.

Theres also nothing wrong with criticizing that decision, especially when they are clearly using it to push you to buy a new device

> If you're someone who was treating your iPhone as a digital musical instrument, for example, bluetooth's latency probably makes it a no go for you.

If you are a musician that can actually hear, Bluetooth headphones of any kind are a non-starter. It is mathematically impossible for BT to have sufficient dynamic range and low enough noise noise floor for classical strings, for instance. Bluetooth sets my teeth on edge.

I'm with you. The iPhone X is the best iPhone I've ever used.

The headphone jack uproar was a tempest in a teapot. Apple saw the stats that either a) people use the headphone that come with the phone or b) they upgrade to wireless headphones. The small group of people using expensive wired headphones can afford an additional $7 permanent attachment.

Yes, Apple prioritizes size and design over everything else. Removable batteries add size, weight, and likely impact the water proof ability of the device. Even when I had a phone that could easily swap batteries I never bought additional ones because they were not cheap and would be discarded when I got a new phone.

I'll also say that I'm happy with the change Apple did here. They failed at communicating it, but I have been on the receiving end of an older phone that would shutdown/crash with plenty of battery left, and would have preferred it to slow down so I could at least use it.

I'm just an anecdote, but I lamented the removal of the headphone jack because it means my 6SE is my last iPhone.

I take pills for attention deficit disorder. I lose stuff. I lose corded and cordless headphones multiple times a month. And hey, I know my inattentiveness to be an annoying end of a spectrum. People have things going on in their lives. Not everyone neatly takes care of their in-separate-ears tiny bluetooth speakers. We're a segment of the market.

They're betting that they can do better without the likes of us -- lose some, earn more from the rest. Maybe their cash position enables them to take such risks.

Companies like Apple actually take accessibility really seriously though, which I applaud. That said, there's a pecking order to disabilities that these companies have to service. I can tell you that blindness is top of the heap and cognitive disabilities are bottom of the heap. It's a crummy situation for users like you when a disability doesn't weigh as heavily as the product design goals - grumble, the world is broken.

I imagine a headphone jack must use a lot of space within the case, which creates a lot of hardware design headaches that go beyond waterproofing.

I see some people at my workplace who walk around all day with a full bluetooth headset around their neck (not earbuds, like the big cans type) even when not in use, almost as a fashion accessory or statement. Perhaps you could experiment with those kinds of bluetooth headsets if you upgrade to a new iPhone. Obviously that doesn't solve your headset needs for running though, grumble grumble.

There are other smartphone companies, albeit with inferior products, that have models with headphone jacks.

Design is a big priority for all these companies. :shrug:

For what it’s worth, the AirPods have “find my AirPods” that will locate them for you in most instances.

I lose stuff too. I just find it eventually.

They do, but it's less helpful than it sounds. It only plays a sound if the AirPods are not in their case. Since I am fantastic at putting them in their case the instant they're not in my ears, I never have a chance to lose mine in a way where this feature would help.

Granted, it's harder to lose the entire case, though it's still small enough and made of slippery plastic that can slide out of pockets if you're unlucky.

If they _are_ in the case you can see the last location they were connected to bluetooth. I've lost and found my whole set several times.

I also spent the corresponding amount for an X in my country but,

a. Good luck when you run out of battery on your AirPods, or you loose one, or you forget them etc. It sure is nice to have the flexibility (Not to mention the much higher audio quality with proper iems/headpphones)

b. My X is considerably bigger and specially, heavier than my 6s.

Wasn't the point to have better waterproofing? IIRC the keynote mentioned it being the main spot for water intrusion.

I have a waterproof phone with jack.

The iPhone X is thicker than previous generation models.

Yeah, why should we let users manage the devices they own? That'd be absurd!


Ah, so you prefer your phone just shutting down unexpectedly when you open your picture-taking app, update the public transportation app to buy a ticket because they updated the server, or exit the metro into the freezing cold of winter? Right.

Not an Apple customer (never was, probably never will), I use a Samsung Android, and I wish my phone were doing that performance limitation thing, because I do feel the issues caused by unexpected shutdowns on a daily basis. I constantly carry an extra battery to be able to reboot my phone when that happens.

Anecdotal evidence, but my 6s (which I had the battery replaced a year ago under the iPhone 6s battery replacement program) was shutting down just last week when I would walk outside, even if it was at or above 50%.

I'm really interested as to where this issue came from, because before I had the unexpected shutdowns with my 6s that Apple came out and admitted was the battery's fault, I had never had this problem with a previous iPhone (or even in the first 6-9 months that I owned the 6s).

These kind of things are worse with the temperature is very cold outside. Is that the case for where you are?

I know three Australian iPhone 6 users who had this problem when their phones were exposed to 0 °C on holiday in Europe. I wondered whether batteries sold and used in Australia might have different specs or somehow become accustomed to the higher temperature.

Sounds like very poor design and more dishonesty from Apple.

So the right thing is to have phones crash as the battery age?

This is not a question about battery life in terms of how many hours the phone can run. This is a question about the phones ability to draw high amounts of power for short intervals.

The right thing is that people who replaced their deliberately slowed down iPhones with new iPhones because of their ignorance about what Apple had done, should have an appropriate remedy not contained in this "we're sorry if you didn't understand that we care a lot about you" press release. It doesn't matter anyway, even though millions of similar batteries in Android phones apparently didn't require a similar secret performance degradation, we are still a long way from reaching the depths that Apple can go to before Apple fans will seriously consider an alternative.

> even though millions of similar batteries in Android phones apparently didn't require a similar secret performance degradation

You know for sure how the power-management code works in every Android device ever produced?

> we are still a long way from reaching the depths that Apple can go to before Apple fans will seriously consider an alternative.

You're literally proving the point here. There's much, much more transparency on the Android side of things. Custom ROMs and the stock Google Android images have been combed over for almost the last decade by loads of different individuals and groups around the world. Now, we surely don't control the Samsung-esque bloatware that they slap on top of stock Android, but there's absolutely no way there's throttling code that lives in Android that we don't know about yet.

Anecdotal evidence of my own: I have a Nexus 5 that's nearly 5 years old now that my kids use daily. It's using a stock Lineage ROM. The battery certainly isn't the best anymore, but the phone doesn't feel different than the day I bought it, and it doesn't crash.

Good point, must of helped Google sell another dozen of them. Thats what makes this whole thing creepy, how many iPhones did this scheme sell for Apple - I imagine a non-trivial number.

nitpick: "ignorance" puts the blame on the consumer -- in this case it's not their fault.

> should have an appropriate remedy

I think a lawsuit is appropriate.

As the ultimate cause is a bad design where they have underprovisioned the battery with little margin for degradation, presumably in order to fit it into a thinner phone, it becomes Apple to handle the issue in a transparent way. The right action for Apple then is not to degrade the performance to hide the problem under the rug, but to make it clear to the customer how they can have the phone serviced in order to make it work like before.

Apple is so lucky that this got noticed and they got called on it. The alternative is that millions of customers would continue to get an inexplicably bad user experience, which would chip away on their reputation in a more indirect but not less dangerous way than facing the press.

The battery is not underprovisioned. Every single battery starts to go bad eventually. The question is what to do when it does.

Of course it is, if it can't deliver the current the phone requires after some usage it's not fit for purpose. It's BECAUSE every single battery starts to go bad that they should have put in a battery that will work after a couple of years of degradation.

Lol. You can't just violate battery physics because you want it to be so.

Older phones manage to violate those just fine.

The right thing is to be honest with users about the state of their equipment. Many, many people shelled out to replace their "dying" phone when all they really needed was a new battery. I don't believe that Apple didn't intend that.

Have you never worked at a large organization? Things that appear like a good idea locally within an organization can easily be bad decisions at the scale of the company as a whole. It's not like Tim Cook or higher-ups personally had any idea that this was being done, much less asked for it to happen — this was likely just one of a million mini-features that team within Apple ship every release. One that was even likely well-intentioned, if poorly thought-out.

I don't understand the opposition to giving the customer a choice. If they prefer a crashing but faster phone, what do you or Apple care? The default setting can be to slow down, then if someone cares enough they can change it. This seems not only reasonable, but optimal.

But then again, I'm on Android now precisely because of this attitude of hiding information and configuration abilities (I hate paternalism), so I'm not the target market.

You really want Apple to put a “Crash: on/off” checkbox in Settings?

Lol yes, it should totally say "crash" and then "true/false". In fact the user should have to type the string "true" or "false" in a text box rather than using a switch or check box.

Fallacies involved in your response: strawman and false dichotomy.

For many, choice is a burden, especially technical choice.

I don't think Apple would ever introduce a switch that could allow the phone to randomly power down.

Well, there is a button that turns the phone off. The angry users could use that and experience the same thing.

Correction, it's "retain performance and experience random shutdowns or, reduce performance and avoid random shutdowns". You can't choose performance 100% of the time without compromise on battery power. That goes for literally any device.

After they figured out that it's a current draw issue with old batteries that caused it, they would _never_ give you a checkbox option to allow unexpected shutdowns.

The rigt thing would have been a model recall changing the battery with something that has enough voltage margin to keep the cpu running after the usual degradation for at least the 500 cycles it’s rated for

This is an engineering issue on evaluating margins properly repackaged as “we’re improving battery life” to hide stability issue caused by bad assumptions on cpu stability across voltage ranges.

3.3 years on the iPhone 6 charging it once a day is 1000 cycles, well above 500..

Cycles are floats, not integers. It's only a full cycle if the battery is discharged very deeply.


Fascinating. Some tidbits to save others time:

> The worst situation is keeping a fully charged battery at elevated temperatures.

> Avoid so-called ultra-fast chargers that claim to fully charge Li-ion in less than one hour.

Because you’re being throttled, duh

Better being throttled than having to endure boot loops, daily crashes and a battery dead at 5 pm honestly..

Better having faulty hardware replaced tbh. Especially expensive hardware.

Exactly, this does nothing to prevent Apple from shoving a dinky battery in future phones and selling $99 annual battery replacements (after 2018). Battery itself costs nothing. $29 may be at-cost for labor. $99 is a large margin.

How long ago did you updated your kit from Amazon? I did days of research and did not come up with any seller with genuine quality batteries. Since two mildly exploded and one bloated to triple the size destroying the phone (mostly the case), I would be careful putting Amazon $25 batteries kit into expensive phone.

It was the "YONTEX" kit. It's worked very well so far, but that's only about a week or so.

Time will tell, I guess.

I'm not completely sure if I understand the problems you've had but if your original batteries are bloating, you have a pretty serious problem and I would NOT look at a third-party battery to solve it. I'd contact Apple and go from there. Also, if it's not a model known to have this kind of problem, wrack your brain to see if you can figure out if there's an environmental issue. (E.g., something like the locker you leave it in when you go to the gym in the morning is actually in direct sunlight at the time you go in the season when you had the problem. Not to let Apple off the hook, just pointing out that if you've had two swollen batteries for a model of phone not known to suffer from that, then the easiest solution could be something more proximate to you.)

I did this with my iPhone 4S about four years ago with no problems. The kit was $10. I destroyed the old battery in the process of getting it out - too much glue - but the new one worked fine.

Isn't this a time-limited offer? I understood it was valid for a year only.

> starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018

Yes, after next year, they still want to make dough from battery replacements that should have been priced into the outrageous premium price of a new phone that is billed as durable and long lasting. Why are you supposed to pay twice for long lasting performance? Either lower the price of the phone, engineer a better battery that lasts at least 5 years, or make its replacement free for 5 years; otherwise shut up about being a long lasting product.

Where have you seen iPhones "billed as … long-lasting"? I'm tuned into the Apple ecosystem and I've seen "powerful", "magical", and water-resistant, but I can't recall ever seeing the devices advertised as either long-lasting, or affordable.

From the article:

> We’ve always wanted our customers to be able to use their iPhones 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.

From their website, linked from the product page: https://www.apple.com/batteries/why-lithium-ion/

Your Apple lithium-ion battery uses fast charging to quickly reach 80% of its capacity, then switches to slower trickle charging. [...] This combined process not only lets you get out and about sooner, it also extends the lifespan of your battery. [...] Apple lithium-ion batteries are designed to hold at least 80% of their original capacity for a high number of charge cycles, which varies depending on the product.

For what it's worth, both the charging methodology and the longevity metric they describe are industry standard. The fact that would actually be interesting to know is the precise number of charge cycles they target for 80% capacity, but of course that isn't disclosed. So that website may sound impressive on first glance but they aren't actually claiming better durability (in the sense of battery longevity) than the competition.

As people have pointed out in other places it’s quite possible that at $30 they’re losing money on each repair (labor/parts/etc). It would make sense for the cost to go up after a year.

Hopefully it stays lower than it was. Maybe $50.

>So I take the drop to $29 as a tangible apology, which I appreciate. (Well, personally, I've already replaced my battery using a $25 kit from Amazon, but obviously that's not viable for the great majority of iPhone owners.)

Seems pretty cheap from the worlds richest company considering it's a $5 battery in question that takes minutes to replace. Why could they not offer full RMA service?

For the same reason auto makers don't offer free lifetime oil changes. A battery is expected to degrade over time so if you expect to use a device for 2-3+ years it's your own responsibility to factor that into the cost of ownership.

That's great. But they charged me over $100 to get mine replaced some months ago.

I'd like to see them and everyone else reintroduce removable batteries. If you're "in the field" all day, it's very convenient to have a second battery to swap out and those external battery powered chargers can be just as inconvenient as being tethered to an outlet.

God no. If I wanted a heavier thicker phone, there are plenty of battery cases that do the trick. Apple's is excellent.

In that case, the iPhone designers might find it puzzling that other smartphone makers have managed to deliver user replaceable batteries on their products without making them heavy OR thick. Or for that matter, other Laptop makers too.

On the other hand, I'm glad they don't. I work at a desk, not "in the field." I don't want Apple to do anything to make the phone less attractive. I'll just plug it in.

Considering how much a new iPhone costs and the obscene margins they get from selling these devices, Apple could just do the courtesy of replacing the battery for free a couple of times per device and would still have a decent margin.

That's fine, but realize that all you're doing is complaining about the price of iPhones. You're asking for more for the same price (presumably, it would also be OK to get the same at a cheaper price.)

And that's really a separate question: should Apple (and other phone makers) include the price of a couple of battery replacements in the initial cost of the phone or not?

That's a fair question, but it's not fair to try to change the answer after you've purchased a phone.

Put another way, if you don't think an iPhone is worth what Apple is charging, then don't buy one.

The main non-gimmicky differentiators of the iPhone from Android are longer term support for software updates and more efficient software that achieves a longer battery life.

The reality is that both software and battery show their age and need to be updated in order to keep the device in a good shape, within the specs people paid for when they bought the device.

Apple does a great job with the software part but it could also do something about the battery,without much impact on their bottom line, as someone else said,the battery costs them just about $5.

This practice has to be pioneered by someone and considering their pricing and margins, I think Apple is in the best position to start doing it.

Why not just SEE but choose what level of performance I want, based on the "conserve battery" setting. Just put it in the control center for swiping!

I’ve replaced things on my iPhones before, the only issue after that was dust ingress on camera lens.

How does your kit ensures it?

Except the battery is not the problem, everybody's problem started when we updated to the last iOS version. This is just bullshit and misdirection to make people spend even more money to replace something that already worked.

The real question to me is what else do consumers don't know about the products they are buying from Apple, Amazon and other big companies. Look at the great length we have to go to make sure there was no foul play.

Why can't they just state something like...

if battery total capacity < x % then set max CPU clock speed = x Ghz?

Or whatever KPIs they use like battery wear level.

The current release doesn't say anything more than what was previously known.

The main reason i moved away from iPhone was terrible battery life and phones obviously slowing just as the new models came out. Doubt I'll go back. Haven't missed them at all tbh.

A late apology, but they do save the brand from further damaging and retain my trust a little bit. For one, I accept their bribe as a customer.

>So I take the drop to $29 as a tangible apology

It's more like a middle finger to all the independent smartphone repair shops that have been replacing screens, batteries, speakers, LCDs, and cameras for years.

Apple has the resources to subsidize the cost of shipping and labor for battery replacements thus undercutting the Mom & Pop repair shop by a wide margin.

.... so what should they do? If they subsidize prices and help out the people who would never go to a local repair shop and only know the great white Apple logo in the sky, they're jerks for driving mom/pop shops out of business.

If they don't do it then they're non-responsive.

Them stepping up and going to $29 plus software updates is the way to go. It just took too long, like everything else Apple does post-Jobs.

  So I take the drop to $29 as a tangible apology
I take it as public relations and crisis management wrapped in a minor loss-leader. Plus, it automatically boosts store traffic to capture sales/upgrades that wouldn't have happened yet otherwise.


Oh come on. At least you can express what you think is wrong about my take on it rather than just calling me a shill.

I'm not a shill, BTW. I was affected by this and think Apple stinks for letting it get to this point. I found out my iPhone 6+ was running at 600Mhz most of the time when it would normally would run at 1400Mhz (going by CPU DasherX). Also, the real world user-experience seemed to be even worse than those numbers, so my guess is there are things affected even more by this than CPU clock.

But I just don't generally expect tech companies to always get it right, especially not the first time. I think this is just being realistic. So for me, the question is, how do they respond when they screw up. I think this response is excellent of Apple, except that it took too long. Knocking some points off for that, it still comes out to "good", IMO.

>just don't generally expect tech companies to always get it right, especially not the first time.

I think you're being far too generous to Apple. I won't repeat my previous comment on this thread, but the gist is they knew what they were doing, they knew rumors were swirling for years about slowing down older devices, and they certainly knew that slowed devices encouraged increased participation in their incremental update-oriented product roadmap.

There is no reason they couldn't have been transparent about this much earlier and, AFAIK, no technical reason this battery management software couldn't have been released earlier.

Given this context, to say they're just figuring it all out and suggest we should ignore their "mistake" and give them credit because they are now doing the right thing does seem a bit naive.

In this example, and like High Sierra root bug, these are primarily software-based issues that have no transparency to the public to evaluate their true origins or resolve on their own; instead it is masked behind a mostly closed-source multi-national corporation caught evading taxes, abusing workers, and now slowing old phones that further exploits their socio-economic divide:


Let's see what Google says and does instead for their source code:


"We also wanted to make sure there was no central point of failure, where one industry player could restrict or control the innovations of any other. The result is a full, production-quality operating system for consumer products with source code open for customization and porting."

Let's see in terms of Android hardware, what you can get on Amazon that will outperform a $500 iPhone 6s and has better specs.

http://a.co/b16AAfJ http://a.co/d4XxSlO

Those are just two options, both better specs and over $300 cheaper. What is Apple really selling you aside from a status symbol and the feeling that you belong to some unique elitist club?

You're conflating and combing a lot of things here into a big Apple-is-bad bundle.

I don't think I can respond to all of it.

I don't even necessarily disagree with your conclusion -- at the moment, I don't know enough to decide if Apple, all things weighed, is predominantly "good" or "bad", relative to what you might be able to expect from a large corporation. I probably never will.

But if I think it's a fairly extraordinary claim if you think Google is relatively "good". As I see it, for Apple, the iPhone is the product and I'm the customer. For Google, I'm the product and advertisers are the customer. That doesn't mean Apple never jerks me around. Sure they do. But Apple jerks me around when they screw up, and Google jerks me around when they are doing their job right.

> What is Apple really selling you aside from a status symbol and the feeling that you belong to some unique elitist club?

Hm. I've heard this kind of thing before but I just can't see how the iPhone can be conceived of as a status symbol or a sign of an elitist unique club. Hundreds of millions of people are walking around with these phones (and everyone knows this). I realize it can be different in different parts of the world, but in the U.S., where I live, there's no sense of exclusivity or luxury from owning an iPhone, at least not in the middle class circles I run in. In fact, it seems the iPhone does the best in richer economies -- places where it is NOT a sign of luxury or exclusivity. Think about it. I think you're fundamentally misunderstanding the appeal of these devices.

I think I am fundamentally misunderstanding the appeal of these devices, which is why I don't own one. I don't want to use iCloud, iTunes, or anything else to lock me into an ecosystem that is expensive and restrictive. I don't want to buy exclusive hardware to use an operating system. I run Linux and use rclone with Google Drive and it is still supported. Why? Because Google actually has an API. What about Apple?


I don't even want to get into AirPods that are excessively marked up pretty much like every Apple accessory and product:


If it isn't about status, then I don't really get why people would choose this path. It doesn't make sense to me. I work in the tech industry and watch people spend $3k all the time for Apple computers and equipment that I can get the same or better specs for half the price by choosing a different company. Maybe I've just never felt it was very ethical to support a business that overcharges for devices that can help educate and provide tools and training to people. I always felt it was the responsibility of companies like this to make their equipment and software as equally accessible as possible, not actively exploit people through social engineering. Not everyone will agree with this, but that is my perception.

If you think this is important you should definitely buy an Android device instead. No need to belittle and mock people who have different priorities than you. That's a nasty way to be.

I wouldn't take it personal because I don't like Apple. Maybe it came across that way, but it really is more about the company and culture as a whole.

Android is so pure, they'd never do this type of throttling. Oh wait:


Except people post solutions/tools to diagnose & fix the problem in that link, because it is a significantly more open platform.

Nothing truly unexpected.

Just one more shinny, almost perfect PR reaction... after the fact actually facts which "just incidentally?" helped the sales of newer/replacement products?

That does neither give money back to ppl. who actually replaced their phones for big bucks "because it was slow" nor undoes the unnecessary waste, tactics like this produce, in which waste I guess the Management-Team of the company would not like their children to play in.

We know, we know totally unintended... "the corporation" says after being caught. U It's simple: gauge your internal enterprise tendencies towards the right-thing-to-do-by-default (in some countries by-the-law btw) or pay up big time.

It's new kind of mass-market tech news too; vw and other car makers, now apple, many more to come:

very nasty tricks we benefit(ed) from and got caught doing.

> but Apple is stepping up and doing the right thing.

Nope. I don't want "visibility into battery health". I want a damn toggle to undo this stupidity. This is just a cash grab plain and simple.

> So I take the drop to $29 as a tangible apology, which I appreciate.

The physical battery costs Apple about $5 to make (https://technology.ihs.com/api/binary/595761), and probably no more than $5-$10 to ship and install. They're profiting off of their own screw-up and spinning it as a kindness.

> They're profiting off of their own screw-up and spinning it as a kindness.

Lets say this gives them an extra $15 profit per battery replacement. I don't think that will balance out the people who now will hold off an extra year to upgrade.

As soon as this kicks in, I will be in line at a Genius bar to get my wife's 7 Plus battery replaced. This should hold her over for at least one more release cycle, possibly two. She was otherwise going to get a new phone in 2018.

>but Apple is stepping up and doing the right thing...

People are letting them off the hook too easily. I don't believe having even a perceived legitimate reason to slow down the phones explains why they didn't own up to it earlier. In fact, seems all the more reason they should have explained it, especially given the rumors that have swirled for so long.

In short, they certainly benefitted from the upgrades encouraged by the slowed phones, and it conspicuously complements their philosophy of releasing incremental upgrades to customers, which means they were certainly motivated to provide that extra nudge. I have trouble believing that's all coincidence.

They've had it their way on the front-end and profited handsomely. Now, on the backend, they are dictating the terms of their own penance. Pretty sweet deal for Apple.

What is their end game though?

* Do nothing and people's phones degrade over time with an ever shortening battery life.

* Slow down phones so that people still get a full day charge with less battery.

Option B seems like it enables people to keep their phones longer when performance is annoying but battery is a showstopper. A notification might have been appropriate when it happens but then people would still complain that Apple is pushing users to replace their batteries.

Better is worse?

>Better is worse?

I'd say "transparency is better". They should've done years ago what they're now doing, especially given the rumors that have swirled about phone slow-downs for so long. By not addressing them when they knew them to be true, they were tacitly denying them or--and this is a very generous read--at least denying even their concerned customers the right to know.

>people would still complain that Apple is pushing users to replace their batteries

You seem to be suggesting that purposely deceiving customers is better than being honest with them and having them think they are being deceived. I don't see a moral universe where that's the right choice. At the end of the day, that argument essentially says that a company is right no matter what it does, as long as it can get away with it.

From a technical perspective, their scheme was certainly explicable, as evidenced by the fact that so many people are willing to accept it now. So, they could've just as well been forthright years ago and taken precisely the same approach they are taking now, without having to be "caught" first.

But, in the meantime, they enjoyed years of upgrades, many of which can reasonably be assumed to have been at least partially incentivized by performance issues.

I don't think you have to be a conspiracy theorist to find this a little too coincidental.

WTF do you care what their end game should be for their best benefit? Maybe it'd be better for then to simply steal customer's money if they could get away with it. But that would be straight up illegal. And so is forcing users to upgrade by intentionally introducing performance degradation and telling users nothing about it whatsoever.

There is an action: Apple developers programmed phones to slow down at peak when battery capacity is less than some threshold. Then there is their motivation or 'end game' for doing so: the claim being thrown around being that it's to push users to buy more phones. But it seems like doing nothing and just letting the batteries degrade would sell more phones becuase not holding a full day's charge and shutting off abruptly are much more noticeable signs of a phone's age and not many people will replace their batteries.

So if Apple is doing this to sell more phones they're not doing it as well as they could and it's more effort to do this than to just do nothing. Hence I am suspicious that this is their true motivation.

>doing nothing and just letting the batteries degrade would sell more phones

Or have people decide that they don't want to buy another expensive Apple phone that "expires" so quickly.

We can theorize about elements of their execution, but the question remains open as to why they opted not to simply tell customers that they were doing this wonderfully benevolent thing for them to extend the life of their phones? And, the idea that they were concerned customers wouldn't believe them doesn't wash. It's just not a sound-basis for a corporate decision like this. And, if that were the case, then why would they expect customers to believe them now?

They created the "problem" in the first place, and chose to clandestinely solve it in a way that happens to benefit them.

I'm going with Occam on this one.

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