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?
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.
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.
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.
>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.
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?
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.
"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."
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.
The clock down feature is new so your past experiences are very likely unrelated.
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?
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.
For the vendor: damned if you do, damned if you don't.
They push way to hard to be constantly updating os versions, especially given the serious bugs that people seem to be finding.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apple has been trying to trick me into upgrading to iOS 11 which will make my phone useless junk.
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.
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.
That’s something that’s wrong with your phone, not iOS.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
> which doesn't exist on Android
it's simply not true. Google pushed updates 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...
"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.
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.
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. 
: https://www.macrumors.com/2017/11/17/apple-extends-free-stai... (Apologies, couldn't find the Apple link.)
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: 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.
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.
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
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?
> 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.
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.
> 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
>> 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 ?
Looks pretty deterministic in case of apple. That is until the next phone release.
Slower processor/smaller overall consumption, possibly. Living in a place without temperature extremes (especially cold) helps
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?
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.
"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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
No it is not, unless you don't own iPhone 6(S) OR haven't updated iOS.
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.
(I have no affiliation with the app, just a satisfied user)
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.
My 6+ drained the battery incredibly quickly. I was told that upgrading the iOS would fix that problem ; 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.
> 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 , and it's just as contentious as Mac vs PC, Windows vs Linux or even vim vs emacs. (PC, Linux and vim, of course!)
What is it that you want Apple to do to make you personally feel better?
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 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.
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.
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).
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.
Of course, what people want is free iPhones. Apple isn’t going to do it just because it’s what everyone wants.
To be fair: what do you expect from Apple? Power to the power users? Because that’s not happening.
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.
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."
We take the underlying computer for granted, but apparently the iPhone can benefit from a clean install to clean out always-running rogue processes.
> 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.
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.
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...
If only I knew that replacing battery would make my 6+ usable again I would remain iPhone user.
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
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.
You simply behaved exactly the way that Apple predicted you would (preferring to spend money over the inconvenience of migrating your data to Android).
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.
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.
Ok, so what do we do? Sell iphone ((or android phone)) and then.. get what?
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.
Flashing something like LineageOS (formerly CyanogenMod) is the best way to get started with a lean android os
They might even not publish the source, and if they do, what are the chances that anyone has audited it?
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.
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.
The exact quote is:
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.
That's funny. I hope you can see how it is funny.
I made a single app purchase in the last 5 years so I don't feel too locked-in, at least other than habit.
> 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.)
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.
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.
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").
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.
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.
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.
In practice this basically rounds to zero on most issues, especially over time.
Otherwise, what's the point of Congress if we aren't going to leave it to them to figure things out?
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.
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.
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.
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" level 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. :(
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.
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...
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.
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.
Or at least that's how it was when I left a couple years ago.
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"
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Here's the excerpt from dictionary.com
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 :)
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.
I understand fine.
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 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.
Also - good to see confirmation id this comment I made recently: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15832402
There is nothing wrong with doing that, but it's possible because you have limited needs.
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.
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).
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.
Calling depth of field "bokeh" is like calling focal length "framing".
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.
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.
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”.
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.
I still have a perfectly useable Android with a replaceable battery.
People still upgraded right past it to built in batteries.
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.
I don’t think replaceable batteries were phased out on flagship phones that long ago.
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)
So I guess OP could've meant Apple is being a sneak like a snake oil salesman?
(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.)
Apple is thinking about this, see the Liam 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.
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.
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.
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.
(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?)
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.
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.
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.
"Hey you're battery is going bad. Do you want to [keep the performance] or [save the battery life]?"
Would be too much??
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.
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.
The issue is the device shutting off while there is still charge on the battery, not the battery reaching 0% faster.
“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.”
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.
"Hey you're battery is going bad. Do you want to [keep the performance] or [shutdown the phone]?"
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.
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.
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).
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.
If the phone is under warranty, why wouldn't you take it to Apple and let them replace it for free?
Sadly the Galaxies have jumped on that bandwagon.
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.
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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 :).
I'm not Apple or its representative, merely trying to help the grandparent see why Apple would do what they did.
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.
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 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.
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.
I lose stuff too. I just find it eventually.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
You know for sure how the power-management code works in every Android device ever produced?
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.
> should have an appropriate remedy
I think a lawsuit is appropriate.
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.
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.
Fallacies involved in your response: strawman and false dichotomy.
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.
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.
> 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.
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.)
> 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:
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.
Hopefully it stays lower than it was. Maybe $50.
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?
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 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.
How does your kit ensures it?
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
* 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?
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.
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.
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.
I think the people in the Silicon Valley need to take a step back and understand that people in the rest of the world don't change phone every year. If a phone become unusable because of its battery (according to them) during the expected lifetime of the device then batteries need to be easily replacable.
Do you have any data to back this up? Looking at version market share, I'd say that there are way more people using older Android phones (1)(2). The second most used OS (10.X at 18.1%) goes as far back as iPhone 5 and the most used (11.X) goes as far back as 5S.
The successors to the iPhone 5 and KitKat were released around the same time (late 2014) but new Android devices, especially low end devices, continued to ship with KitKat long after that. KitKat was still supported by Google until 2017.
A few months later, after my AppleCare+ expired, the problems intensified. And I spent most of 2017 with a very slow and unreliable phone. I honestly thought it was iOS 10. Had I known it was the battery, I'd have paid to replace it. Or I'd have forced them to upgrade it for me for free when I had AppleCare+.
I upgraded to an iPhone X, thinking the 6 Plus had reached its EOL, but now I think I've been lied to!
The real scandal is the shoddy design and engineering that led to brownouts that necessitated either a massive recall or this throttling.
1) Drop from 30% to 5% in some minutes. iOS 10.x fixed this issue.
2) Now with iOS 11 the battery does even last a day and the phone was extremely slow.
Sure i had issues in the past after 2 years with my Nexus 5 and Galaxy Nexus but both were kind of mid range price ~400 Euros.
But with a high end phone that cost 800 Euros I would expect better quality and also better costumer support.
This xmas i just got myself a ~350 Euros Android and i'm much more happy. After 2 years if the phone has battery issues or whatever i will not be so furious has i am now.
I've been recently moving away from Apple mainly due to Quality / Price ratio. I have a 2012 iMac which is basically useless except from Browsing on the Web.
Other companies like Google, Amazon etc... ship good quality devices for much cheaper price.
So for me i'm not thinking in buying anything else from Apple.
Not sure if they checked when the battery was manufactured. But now given $29 I guess no longer relevant...
I swapped from an Nexus 5 to an iPhone 6+. I bought the iPhone 1.5yrs second hand to get a significant amount off its price. It is dented significantly on the back, but still serves me like a new phone apart from a noticed slow-down.
On the other hand, the Nexus randomly started shutting off and the battery only lasted half a day after charging every day for the following 2 years.
The phones are now effectively the same age and Apples fix has prolonged the apparent age of my phone, I guess (thanks).
But I think people are being harsher because Apple products have longer expected life but use the same battery technology. This isn’t really fair, is it?
Ftn. I have designed and manufactured 3 battery assemblies for electric vehicles in a racing context.
In the meantime, iPhone 5 went first to my wife, then to my daughter and finally to my younger daughter. It was supported until the last release of the OS, it's still in use, just got batter replacement a year ago. I'm not happy with Apple behavior lately, but they need to screw up something much, much bigger to make me think to switch to something made by Samsung or Google.
 I could probably at this point even sell my phone again for like 200 bucks and someone would buy it, which could even be hurting them.
I'm sure some people will still hate them for something, though.
Tens of millions of old iPhone users were left in the dark why all of a sudden the phone was slowing down to the point where it was becoming unusable. Millions of people probably spent hundreds of dollars otherwise they wouldn't need to spend if they know this was something they can fix with a new battery.
I personally have been using iPhone 6 for 3 years until this CPU-Battery disaster struck. So I ended up buying an Android phone. I love my Android phone now, but it's still money I wouldn't have had to spend.
This is a huge scandal. I like the response by Apple, but it's too late and millions of people already spent money they could've avoided spending. Good bye iPhone. I won't be coming back.
On the whole I don’t think this would have caused anyone to spend money they wouldn’t have otherwise. Perhaps they would have stayed with their phone longer.
It’s hard to tell, and this is certainly worse than if they had just told people about the battery in the first place (although I imagine THAT would’ve become a scandal two).
The idea I’m arguing against is that Apple either did nothing or purposefully made it worse. They tried to fix one bad problem (random shutdowns) and it caused a different, although less severe, problem.
Apples move to retard performance to keep the phone from suddenly dying was a GOOD move. It wasn’t a scam as some others have claimed.
But obviously they should have communicated to the user that they knew there was a battery issue.
It is a scam if they're not making it clear to the users why their phone is suddenly being slowed down. The fact is, even if battery issues are a perfectly fine reason to be doing this, by not making that clear to users and instead leaving them in the dark with a now extremely slow phone (Just in time for their new releases!) they are scamming their users.
If you took your car into a dealership, and instead of telling you that you had a bad battery (That they've known was already going bad in similar cars) they told you that they don't know what's wrong with it, but that they have lots of other cars you can buy, would you consider that a scam? I certainly would.
Why is apple the only company with this problem?
It’s the only one people care about enough. Apple gets a major "scandal" almost each year about something that affects every single smartphone company on the planet. Think of the antenna-gate or the bending issues. Lots of non-Apple phones have shown these issues, and the random shutdowns are no exception .
(updated to add a link)
It's all about expectations.
If Apple hadn't redlined the CPU to hit benchmarks the battery wouldn't have been in such a poor state to need to be shut down/throttled so early in its lifecycle.
They are 100% to blame this situation and have taken the least consumer focused choice up until this point.
That doesn’t seem like a reasonable solution.
But if it is that reasonable than surely there is a long list of electronic devices that do such a thing...
The implication that I keep getting from people seems to be that Apple is running their phones at 140% and when the battery can’t keep up they then slow it down to make up for the CPU being underprovisioned on battery.
I think it’s far more likely that Apple is running the phone at 100% of what it was designed for. When the battery ages they were running into problems with the phones having to shut themselves down (perhaps the newer chips were more sensitive to power fluctuations?) so they’ve started throttling to under 100%.
In a desktop analogy: I don’t think this is the equivalent of some company selling overclocked CPUs and lying about how fast they were. I think this is closer to a case of the computers just ended a clogged with lots of dust and had to throttle to prevent serious damage after a few years.
Obviously they should’ve told the user but I don’t think they set out from a malicious standpoint.
Note that this problem only occurred on devices where Apple fully designed the chips (iPhone 6 and later). "Off the shelf" chips, and those used for Android, simply have a lot more of a voltage window.
Were the phones really slowed down by that much?
My phone's remaining battery life is above 80%.
In some cases, yeah. It’s bad.
After that awful experience I would rather get a kick in my genitalia than an android phone.
Enough with the hyperbole already. Yes, a few (rather outspoken) users had this issue. For everyone else, slowdowns were noticeable, but they barely made the phones "unusable".
That's why this is a manufactured scandal. Yes, Apple could have (and should have) been more transparent. But their decision to throttle the CPU was based on sound engineering principles, rather than a nefarious attempt to get people to upgrade.
I think the non-manufactured part of the scandal is having your phone throttle itself w/o telling you it's doing that is pretty annoying.
You're left wondering, is my phone running slower or is my mind playing tricks on me?
I think Apple's response here is great.
I have bought a device of a certain performance, fully expecting that the battery will degrade and hold a smaller and smaller charge, but NOT expecting the performance of the device to suffer. I was given absolutely no warning that, come a certain age or use-pattern, the performance of the device will degrade. Apple went behind my back and installed software that prevented device lockup, and gave me no info about it.
What if I was entitled to a warranty replacement of the battery, but the software hid that from me by devaluing my purchase? This is not 'great', it's sleazy. Apple is essentially getting away with installing lower performance batteries and/or reducing it's warranty costs compared to competitors. The behavior itself is good from an engineering point of view, the communication was deceptive and fraudulent; the feature should be made optional, enabled at the user's discretion to extend the life of terminals that are outside of warranty and start to lock up, or the customer should be thoroughly informed at the time of purchase that the performance of the terminal will significantly degrade.
their response is
- an apology
- a promise to update the software so you know when you're getting throttled
- cheap battery replacements
i think that's pretty solid.
- They make no promise of the target lifespan of their devices. It appears that their internal culture believes that devices that last only 1 year is acceptable. They do not say if they want to deviate from this.
- No transparency on the expected battery degradation and performance impact over time.
more generally the useful lifespan of iphones is definitely more than a year. i was recentlu able to sell still-perfectly-functioning iphonr 7 for almost half it's cost new. my 3-year-old ipad mini only started feeling slow a couple months ago. this seems better than what my friends with android experience, anecodotally.
If you have a laptop then I have bad news; your CPU throttles itself. Especially if you play games.
It gets too hot and slows itself down to prevent damage. There’s not even a direct way to detect this. Which I do admit is annoying.
Apple deserves this PR egg on their face. But they aren’t doing anything super wrong. Additional battery life info will go a long ways towards doing things right.
the laptop always does this; it's not something where it magically (and mysteriously) gets slower as it ages. it's also obvious when this is happening, even if not directly indicated: the fan will be cranking and the laptop will be really hot to the touch.
and, there's also somehow more of a feeling that a phone is a controlled system that will "just work," whereas computers/laptops are always screwing up in one way or another...
In some ways that does happen. As computers get more lint in them that often start heading thermal barrier’s and automatically throttling themselves without telling the user.
As for whether the fan makes it obvious I guess that depends on how loud the fan is. Or this could happen to a desktop that you just have placed out of the way enough that you can’t hear it well.
I'm not sure what you mean by this, but you can run software that will give you these details and much, much more about the state of the CPU.
It is normal to be suspicious. My battery did not wear out overnight.
when you updated your software, it started throttling.
per that theory, a new battery should put you right again. (or wait for a future software update, which will tell you for sure if it was throttling.)
i think there is a little more going on, though, because my old ipad mini is slow a.f. w/ the new software update, and it shouldn't be affected by this throttling. my guess is it's simply lazy software engineering: apple doesn't seem to try to target good performance on old devices.
I’m not sure what it is but there can be some sort of “gremlin“ on a few old installs. It’s possible that’s your issue if the problem is especially severe.
It may depend on various factors, but I know someone with an iPhone 6+ that is ridiculously slow. At times it can’t keep up with typing terribly well. Or you’ll go to open a simple app and it will take a couple of seconds.
And iPhone 6 that one of their relatives purchased on the same exact day does not exhibit this behavior. At least not to a noticeable degree.
The phone is three years old and has had a hard life. It gets discharged down to 10% pretty often.
As soon as the articles about this started to come out it fit perfectly. We’ll find out when they try and replace the battery, but I suspect this is the issue.
However this is also probably one of the worst cases. I mean if my phone was throttled 10 or 15% I’m not sure I would really notice. If things get bad and it starts being 40%+ I can see how it would be noticeable.
However the battery would’ve been deteriorating that time, and it’s starting to get quite cold here which would only make things worse. I think I remember hearing that it would randomly shut off before that so I’m totally willing to believe the battery already had small problems.
A $50 battery replacement for 2.5 years of service is totally reasonable.
I made the same mistake, which someone else pointed out to me.
There are a lot of companies that make their money fixing iPhone batteries for $30. If this isn’t a limited time offer they’re in deep trouble.
> starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018.
Don't hate on all journalism (or anything, really) just because of some bad apples. Even if it were true (which it isn't), it takes away all motivation for people in that industry to do the right thing. Why bother spending time on well-researched reporting, if all you get back is "fake news" or "all journalists are corrupt and produce clickbait"-hate on Twitter?
More specifically, here's a Q&A, and a previous article, discounting Apple conspiracy theories by The New York Times:
"Is Apple Slowing Down Old iPhones? Questions and Answers":
"A New Phone Comes Out. Yours Slows Down. A Conspiracy? No.": https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/15/technology/personaltech/n...
Unfortunately, since these days anyone with a smartphone can call themselves a "journalist," it's become like the lawyer situation — the 90% bad ones give the 10% good ones a bad name.
In this case, I saw lots of headlines like "Apple admits it deliberately slowed down old phones". To me, the word "admits" is a big red flag. It's a loaded term that you can apply to pretty much any public statement, and it suggests (but doesn't directly imply) that Apple is admitting to wrongdoing. Phrasing like that signals to me that the reporting is untrustworthy.
BUT, what I do very much care about is that the company who did this does not get away with it without losing some feathers, because they did intentionally hide something from the user that did affect them quite noticeably and if they would not have been called out could have had even more serious effects in the long run.
Imagine the following scenario. The battery of your phone is happily degrading and the manufacturer of your phone puts in some serious effort to develop a strategy so you as the user don't notice it. You keep using your phone thinking everything is fine, all the while your battery keeps degrading faster and faster. Then some day you actually need the power (in terms of processing power and in terms of stored energy) because, let's say you are taking a longer high quality video of a wedding. But since your phone is now running on full throttle your battery keeps discharging uncharacteristically fast because it is already in a bad state, or the software can't keep up with the data compression and has to start dropping frames and the video of the event you wanted to keep in good memory now looks awful.
Sure, this is only a very benign scenario but it still illustrates that the manufacturer should not try to hide such important information from the user. And as I have mentioned in another thread, no one can tell me that not a single Apple engineer during this whole process has stepped up and said "Hey maybe it's also a good idea to tell the user that we are throttling the whole system so it may live a few months longer"
I got lucky and wasn't affected by the battery shutdown issue even though my serial # was eligible for a free battery replacement, so I was able to put off the free battery replacement for a couple years and get a new one free. In another 2 years I'll probably swap it again for 25 bucks :D
I'm guessing they'll have some criteria on that
When you take your phone in, they'll do a test on the battery's current capacity and status, using a custom app. If the battery has reported errors, or if the reported capacity is low enough (below 80% capacity remaining, as I recall), then they'll agree to replace the battery. Takes a couple minutes to run the test, and then about an hour to swap the battery.
(Caveat: I was last through this process on my old iPhone 5, about six months ago. I assume that the procedure and policies are basically the same for newer iPhones, and haven't changed substantively since then. My battery's remaining capacity was below 40%, and was reporting errors, when I had it replaced.)
As reported by so many others, this happened immediately after the iOS 11 update. And by immediately I mean within seconds of booting right after installing the update. I stupidly waited for 11.1 hoping it would address the issue rather than revert while it was still possible.
Apple will not replace my battery even under this new program, as it’s still considered healthy by their standard. However an iPhone 7 with 87% battery health is unable to run iOS 11 without frequent UI freezes or sudden power loss, as I’ve found out, due most likely to the fact that I’m running iOS 11 on hardware designed for iOS 10. I’d be okay with that if there was some way to revert, but there is not.
How is it "completely manufactured"? Apple programmed (and hid) the slowdown because it knows the batteries it is shipping with its phones won't last more than a year. Linus compared it to a car performing worse after 1 year of usage..
I hate to break it to him, but a one-year-old car will perform worse than a brand new car. A car is a hugely more robust piece of machinery than a telephone, so the degradation is less noticeable, but it's there. Why do you think the car depreciates the second you drive it off the lot?
> Why do you think the car depreciates the second you drive it off the lot?
Because of the dealership and "new car" markup. There's next to no difference between the car that left the parking lot and a "new" one. If you don't care about this silly game, you can save a lot by buying an ex-display model with a few hundred/thousand km done.
I bought a "used" one-year-old Cadillac ATS with 6,000 miles on it. It had AWD, the V6 engine, and every option available except the rear-seat BluRay entertainment system. It was priced at 60% of new.
It was a great deal and I challenge anyone to tell the car wasn't brand new without checking the odometer.
How many people complain that their new car is slowing down significantly after less than a year, or becomes inexplicably unusable around the time the year+1 model appears?
This is very much not the case with the iPhone slowdown, where a lot of people were noticing issues, on a product which already has a pitiful and barely practical battery life.
There is no evidence for this. Plenty of people use iPhones for two or three years and don’t have an issue, and didn’t before any of the iOS changes that “hid” them.
Some people are just really hard on phone batteries. I have a few relatives that way. I’m not sure I’ve ever had an issue using the phone for 2+ years but I don’t tend to drain it down near the bottom much.
The car analogy is not great. First off, new cars cost way more than phones, and are built out of very different types of components. Secondly, cars absolutely need maintenance, and generally more than $29 a year.
Around the release of iOs 11 (not sure exactly when because it was gradual and I was also on the iOs 11 beta) my 6s became incredibly slow, almost unbearable, until last month I decided to upgrade to an X because of how slow it was. Was planning a year more but I just couldn't see myself using it 1 year more.
Now I see via CPU Dasher and Geekbench that my 6s with a battery less than a year old (95,7% original capacity, 406 cycles) is running at 1400-900Mhz, (almost always between 1200-1000Mhz) instead of 1800Mhz.
Actually, it's an 8% decrease starting after the first year. But go ahead and keep on spreading the FUD. Your HTC stock should catch up soon.
Because stock price is an indicator of how well a company's products are engineered!
Meanwhile until a month ago; username: root, password: none (no password, not the word "none"). Try it twice, get administrator access!
> 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.
That’s how Apple tends to handle almost all warranty issues. Either that or you can mail it in.
iPhones are not exactly designed to be easily opened and messed with by normal people. It’s part of how they get them so thin (insert various other theories that may or may not apply here).
You don't. Thousands of people replace their own iPhone batteries every week. Even I've done it, and I'm not especially dexterous.
Just go to Amazon or Google and search for a $20 replacement kit. Or, if you're not a DIY person, where I live there are places on every other streetcorner that will replace your battery for you.
Are there any battery experts who can chime in with their opinion on this?
> response: [non-battery expert with subjective opinion]
sums up why I hate HN comments sometimes.
But hey; in an online forum things get off topic... kind of like this ;-)!
Maybe these symptoms are Apple specific but Samsung had fire and explosions:
Edit: Another question I have is how do other devices handle battery degradation? Do Android phones just let devices shutdown unexpectedly or is there also performance throttling? Or is the problem non-existent on non-Apple devices somehow?
Sudden shutdowns do still occur for some devices, but it is nowhere as iPhone devices pre-throttling. It's also something that didn't affect previous iPhones before the 6, because those devices did not have a very thin redline.
I work with a guy that doesn't use Apple products at all, yet _always_ forwards this stuff to me. I don't even argue about it or defend Apple—it isn't worth my time and it isn't worth Apple's time either.
Maybe they have a defamation case, but really who cares?
I do use Apple products, but every company and product should be scrutinized equally. Not that it matters if Apple gets hate, they're still a billion dollar company, but I do find it interesting on why they get that hate at times when it's not really worth it.
Was the reporting bad? Sure. Was apple in the right? Definitely not.
Does anyone know how Samsung phones (for example) deal with low battery voltage issues? Do they simply adjust the battery meter so that it reports zero percent by the time you might start having these issues? Does it slow the phone down The way Apple did? Does it issue some sort of warning that your battery is getting bad?
Or does it just shut down if you overtax things?
It must be possible to figure out how other vendors solved this issue.
Even a few percent overprovisioning can extend life expectency by a lot; and aggressive temperature-related charging (and discharging) throttling can trade peak (benchmark) performance and predictable charging speeds for longevity. I bet apple could make a phone with at least double the battery longevity with 1% price, mass, and size increases, and perf and battery life decreases -- if they wanted to. Of course, those factors are easily quantifiable, and battery longevity less so...
So sure: battery degradation is a fundamental issue in the sense that all batteries degrade - but how they do and what tradeoffs the device makes to minimize that are largely up to the manufacturer, and unfortunately also poorly documented, poorly benchmarkable, and I'm not sure how clearly a warranty would apply - so yeah, the it's a factor that manufacturers are bound to skimp on.
(I wouldn't particularly expect apple to be any worse than the rest of the pack, though).
Some other phone may be designed so it takes an extra year and a half or two, but it will still happen one day.
But a little more honesty in expected degradation would be nice, including the warranty that if degradation exceeds some minimal specification, the phone will be fixed at the manufacturer's cost, and not just for a year. 10 years may be unnecessarily long, but 1 year is definitely too short; and the level of acceptable degradation is too vague.
That's the main problem here.
Apple has dealt with overblown controversies before (Antennagate, etc.) and the best way to deal with them is to do what they're doing: communicate better, improve their software, make repairs or returns more affordable.
This response owns the responsibility of countering misconceptions. The huge majority of Apple users won’t remember this in a month.
Marco doesn't see the value in tracking podcast listeners, but I'd think he'd benefit to know what causes people to stop when listening to their show.
Really? I thought that was perfectly fair. Apple made it so people’s phones don’t randomly shut off all the time if the battery is old and people are complaining about it because it fits into a different false narrative.
I honestly do think this whole thing is very overblown. I’m glad they’re fixing iOS to inform users it’s going on (that was certainly an issue) and dropping the price of battery replacements is a great move.
But I don’t think this is the giant scandal that the tech press is trying to make it. I thought Casey’s assessment was quite fair.
If your phone randomly shuts downs, or it last less time between charges, you know it must be a battery issue. You go to Apple or whatever, and fix it paying no more than 79$ (maybe even free if it still has warranty!)
If you hide it and degrade performance, people don't know its a battery issue, leaving them to suffer a slow phone, or spending 700+$ on a new phone.
No matter the good intentions, and the "good solution" they implemented, they fucked up.
It was painful to hear.
Reality: Apple secretly slowed down people's phones.
The proper response is to clean their brand. That’s what they do now. I think it is better late than never, but it also is somewhat (depending on how picky they will be on replacing those batteries, and on whether they will pay back people who replaced their battery recently because of this problem) classy.
I also think this is intended to, and will, stop the class action suits being filed before they have even started.
"All rechargeable batteries are consumable components"
Apple themselves are describing batteries as consumable, and to me it doesn't work both ways, you can't describe something as consumable and seal it inside the device and still claim to be doing the best thing for the user. Either it's consumable and user replacement should be supported and within warrenty, or it's not consumable.
No one asked for this. Lighter, somewhat, yes but thin to the point where batteries are barely functional? Samsung's colossal Note failure is just another symptom of this. I had a Panasonic CF-Y5, a 14" 1.5kg laptop ten years ago and somehow it managed to be that light without this thinness craziness.
You mean the obsession customers have with buying thin products, which Apple is simply satisfying, and extremely well, judging from sales.
> No one asked for this.
Yes actually, I asked for this, like many other customers who bought much thinner Apple products instead of thicker, bulkier, heavier competing products.
I slightly disagree with this though:
> but thin to the point where batteries are barely functional?
My previous MBP (mid-2014) was still very usable after 3 years of intensive use. Overall, I can't say I suffered from not being able to change the battery easily. (I passed the problem to the next owner...).
I'd say that is only the Ultrabook market which goes for super thin. There are plenty of other laptops out there that are thick enough to even have a CD drive. On top of that there are the gaming laptops which are even thicker.
I feel them absolutely awful to type on (I have never complained about a keyboard before but I just can't stand this one), although it is subjective, some people are fine with it.
What is unquestionably bad though is that you need to replace the whole keyboard if one key has an issue (and apparently it happens a lot). I know several people for which Apple had to reset the whole laptop after a keyboard issue, but I can't make sense of it.
I don't know why some people hate these keyboards. I don't really have a strong opinion about them. They feel slightly different and noisier but I get identical typing speed results compared to the previous one.
Might be a reflection of the culture those commenters are from, but it's disingenuous to assert.
Other options existed -- notably to advise the user, as part of the update, via mail-out, etc, that this choice had been made from them, and (optionally) what they could do about it.
I know car analogies are overused but … I would be classed as literally insane if I replaced my car because the battery had become degraded. When this happens you get a mechanic to replace the battery. (Or, if the owner is very competent they replace it themselves.) If we do it for cars, why not for phones?
I would absolutely love if this issue got regulated across the board the same way the charging cable connection (everything has to be usb-micro or usb-C) got regulated. Though somehow Apple didn't comply and didn't get penalised.
a) slow the phone down
b) make the battery percentage accurate so that people will know when the battery is empty
I have used Samsung phones for a long time (since Galaxy S4), and I've never had a phone turn off on me when the battery percentage was anything other than 0%. Are we supposed to believe that the maker of the "world's most advanced smartphone" (their words) cannot figure out how to prevent random shutdowns without slowing down the whole phone?
Usually they send you to Huawei who wants a few hundred bucks to fix it. ...no.
I'll accept a seam in the phone, and a slightly thicker phone, if I could replace the battery myself. (That might also avoid the camera bump.)
The latest MBP really shit the bed with that poorly conceived touchbar, and the horribly inferior keyboard.
And in general, for many years now, Apple laptops have gotten far less serviceable in the name of sleekness.
Then there is the issue of software quality. That is a different issue, although perhaps the decline reflects corporate priorities, (sleek hardware is more important than anything). ITunes and Photos are just terrible. Bloated, confusing, inconsistent even within themselves, and certainly across releases. I dread having any contact with Apple's cloud -- it just never acts the way that I want it to, and I tread very carefully to avoid propagating deletes to places I don't want them to go. I don't want files to move seamlessly from one place to another, and to be downloaded on demand. It chews up my phone's monthly data allotment, and it doesn't work at all when I have no connection. Sharing is a disaster. I don't share anything because it is unclear who gets access to what.
Another aspect of software quality is a noticeable uptick in bugs. That iOS 11 texting bug (couldn't type "I" correctly) was a huge embarrassment, and it took an astoundingly long time to fix. And I heard many reports of crashes with iOS 11. My iPhone 6 is staying on iOS 10. Then there was the MacOS login-as-root-with-no-password bug.
I am seriously thinking about my non-Apple computer future. I have a mid-2015 MBP -- the last good one, as far as I'm concerned. I'm hoping that when I need an upgrade there will be some nice hardware compatible with Linux (fingers crossed for Razer). I'm stuck on the iPhone (because I trust Google not at all), so I'll need to figure out how to get that to coexist with Linux.
Didn't they degrade the user experience by slowing down the cpu? I definitely wasn't enjoying my slow iPhone
I think the only major mistake Apple made here was not being originally transparent about this. I don't think that Apple is being 100% noble in its intents either. In addition to driving users to buy new devices, there's the much less obvious side-effect which is a lot of people attempting to get their batteries replaced at roughly the same time as devices age. Which creates a tremendous support burden at Apple Stores around the world as people pile in to get their batteries replaced. (Although more daring consumers may attempt the DIY route, but I expect that to be a very small minority).
If my phone shut down when it shouldn't then I know to search out diagnostics about my battery. But if my phone slows down I have actually done these things:
* complained to developers that their apps are slower, wasting their time and resources when my battery should have been changed.
* reinstalled my OS. Which did not help when I should have changed my battery.
* searched and searched and searched resources online. When I should have researched a new battery.
* I also have to mea culpa all friends to whom I have ensured through the years that Apple never intentionally slows down their hardware. I have lied to my friends and need to apologise to them.
I wish people would stop inventing this false dichotomy. What people want is a phone that doesn't degrade horribly after only a year, regardless of whether that degradation is that it shuts itself off at 40% (which is fucking ridiculous) or that it gets noticeably slower. When a phone degrades so noticeably after only a year, people feel like they've been cheated. Do any other phones turn themselves off at 40% charge? My android phones certainly don't.
They could choose to do nothing. They could do what they did. With either of those they could’ve chosen to be more transparent (which clearly they should’ve).
You’re arguing that given the problem they saw once the phones have been in the field for years they should have designed the phone differently originally. That’s not reasonable.
I’d be very curious to know how android phones handle this. They must, in someway. There’s another comment in this story that someone had an HTC phone that would tend to just suddenly die under 20%, that may be the same thing iPhones were doing before.
When your battery doesn't last as long, what do you think of replacing?
When everything on your device runs noticeably slowly, what do you think of replacing?
> You’re arguing that given the problem they saw once the phones have been in the field for years they should have designed the phone differently originally. That’s not reasonable.
I'm arguing that given that battery degradation curves are absolutely a known quantity, and have been for many years, they should have chosen to not put in a CPU that would, with 100% certainty, fuck itself in the eye with batteries that otherwise still appear to be reasonably healthy. 500 _complete_ charge cycles should get a battery to 80% capacity according to Apple. 80% original capacity doesn't mean suddenly turning off at 40% of current capacity because of power draw.
> they should have designed the phone differently originally
They should have. The current situation has been caused by either negligence or intent to deceive. That's what has people so upset. Did you know that you don't get the performance back if you keep the iPhone plugged in?
> I’d be very curious to know how android phones handle this. They must, in someway.
By running their CPUs at voltages farther from the absolute edge of what their batteries are capable of putting out. Possibly by displaying charge percentage differently. Definitely not by making performance unbearable.
That doesn't happen unless you have an absurd number of charge cycles. It usually takes 2-3 years of normal use to reach a point where the battery degradation is a major problem.
Personally, I agree with Apple's call on this one.
If they're having to go to measures this drastic to keep their phones from shutting down, their batteries are underspec'd and their processors are overspec'd.
The iPhone 7 came out a year ago. iPhone 7 users are also being offered the $29 battery replacement.
For example, they could have altered the calibration of the battery indicator so 0% charge corresponds to the charge level where random restarts/throttling starts to occur.
Calibrating for a new "0%" effectively lead to a "shorter battery life".
I don't know the intricacies of these options, but I can make a guess. The point which a phone resets isn't accurately predicted. Some user actions may cause larger voltage drops than others. For which action do you calibrate to 0%? What if you only do that action once a day? Is this trade off worth sacrificing 1% of your full capacity? What about 10% or 30%?
That seems almost useless. Certainly worse than having a slower phone that has hours of battery life.
Any time my phone was under ~15% battery, it would randomly crash during demanding tasks. I'd think the battery had died, but turning it back on would work immediately and my battery wouldn't be at 1%/0%.
At that point the battery capacity might as well be 85% of the already degraded value since the phone stops being stable.
When you have people running 3rd party apps to determine whether their phones are still running fine, and then going to get battery replacements and finding performance returning, and nothing the OS told them indicated anything was wrong, that's a problem.
Hmm, that could work, but I feel like that might go against Apple's ethos. Not malicious, they just seem to like telling the user what's best and surfacing fewer options. I feel like the average user doesn't want to have to make this decision
>Plus, having the phone shutdown would force users to upgrade out of necessity without feeling swindled.
I'd disagree, but may be in the minority. I would hate having to upgrade because my battery life is shot. A large reason I chose iPhone was the battery life
Consumers are responsible at least as much as manufacturers for the current state of phones. Manufacturers may create the designs for phones, but consumers vote with their wallets for what they want, and they've consistently voted for thin over longer battery life.
Most consumers don't understand battery technology and don't know what's available on the market. They go into their local cellphone store and choose whatever looks nice and is recommended by the salesman. They aren't aware of handsets with bigger or user-replaceable batteries, because the industry hasn't really offered them the choice. I use a Chinaphone with a giant battery, but I have a lot of knowledge that no average consumer has.
Really? Would there be a strong negative reaction if Apple said "we've designed the iPhone 9 to give you all-day battery life for four years"? Would customers be angry that their device was built to last longer and perform better? To my mind, it's a marketable feature.
All battery management is a trade-off between capacity and durability. Manufacturers have an obvious commercial incentive to sacrifice durability - you get a thinner device with longer initial battery life.
Purchasing habits are starting to change in the mobile market. Pricing is moving away from an all-inclusive line rental price to separate usage charges and device payments. As the market matures, customers are holding onto their devices for longer. I think it's inevitable that manufacturers will have to improve durability as we move away from the lock-step of 24 month contracts.
You’d restart the phone and after a second trip to the battery indicator would show the correct level (let’s say 60 to 80 percent).
If you bought a new phone strictly because your old one was slow, you might have an anecdotal point to make.
"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.
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."
Wonder if this means we'll see 12-24 month phones popping up on eBay with battery health reports, or receipts showing the owner(s) had them changed out just prior to sale.
To your second point, I'm curious to see if Apple only offers this to original owners, or if a subsequent purchaser can get it swapped at this price also.
Batteries fail after a while, it has been a constant for a very long time.
What has changed is that in many recent phones it is a pain to replace it yourself.
Also, I wonder what percent of people will walk into an Apple Store intending to get their battery replaced and will end up walking out with a shiny new iPhone. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple offered incentives to folks who want to just trade in and be done with the old device. At the very least, they've got you hanging out in their store for 15 mins.
I think I read one during the whole disk encryption fiasco a few months ago..
Edit: no, that was the username: root, password: (blank) fiasco. And literally less than a month ago.
* In the first paragraph, they only apologized after limiting the limiting the scope to "some" customers who "feel" slighted. Like an irrational person on the defensive, giving a non-apology apology.
* They didn't address issues like: the CPU throttling is 24/7, whether the device is running off A/C or not. (!) Completely unnecessary and also — inconsistent with the battery-voltage argument.
* Affected users like me have been stuck with a barely functioning phone for a year. Since it stayed nearly unusable even when plugged in, I assumed it was simply due to Apple bloatware affecting older devices.
A lot of folks would buy stuff because they TRUST Apple to provide a stable and reliable product.
It seems like with each release, quality and stability decrease, and customers' trust is further eroded.
I wonder if Apple management even considers issues from that perspective?
Just wanted to emphasise this.
I put my parents on iPhones because I wanted to minimise them calling me for technical support. I taught them to update the phone's OS for security reasons, but iOS 11 came out and was dogshit for six weeks until 11.1.2 came out and my mom (a layperson) exclaimed "A[?]'m never updating again!".
Tim & Craig need to stop making their customers beta testers. That's why we paid the premium.
iPhone 8, 8+: 1821, 2675 mAh
Galaxy s8, s8+: 3000, 3500 mAh
That's a huge difference.
Apple gets away with this because the iPhone is more energy efficient than comparable Android phones, but that's only on average -- peak energy consumption is still comparable.
And when cells age, nominally larger cells retain the ability to drive peak workloads without browning out (even if they drain really fast), while Apple's tiny cells eventually just can't do it anymore.
So depending on the implementation of the feature iPhone users would be able to see how fast the battery degrades due to its low capacity. Apple could do what every other manufacturer did—provide phones with higher capacity batteries to start from for phones not to burn the battery with too many recharging cycles in the first year. The thing is Apple deliberately supplies small batteries for them to require many recharges and degrade fast. Androids now have on average 3000 mAh batteries. I got 5300 mAh. Small iPhones—1800 mAh.
I’ll ignore the “on paper“ comment. It was totally unnecessary.
If that gain is indeed real, or mostly real, then the difference may be explained by the fact that Apple makes some compromises that other chip makers don't - such as increasing the boost performance of the chip more than the battery and the heat management can handle.
As for the "on paper" claim, I think it's justified, because largely we only know the Apple chips are "so much faster" from synthetic benchmarks. But in real world tests it doesn't seem to make much of a difference.
I never stated that. My point was that they wanted their processors to benchmark above everyone else's, and this quest for the highest performance numbers in synthetic benchmarks (aka on paper) has lead them to a bad place.
 - https://www.thelocal.fr/20171228/french-lawsuit-launched-aga...
Company internal investigation followed by public facing change is pretty much the death knell in a civil/monetary lawsuit.
I don't see how either of those builds customer trust.
Plenty of their customers will have already bought new phones thinking their current ones are just broken, and their response is to stop adding a 100% margin to this one product category temporarily.
If I was a regular customer of a company that overcharged me by that much, I'd expect to have correspondingly awesome customer support that would make me whole when they screwed up. I.e. in this case refund the new phone I bought because mine was slow.
But I suppose I should stop being surprised at the low expectations people have for Apple.
Thank you! I've always thought phones should provide info about battery health.
Which is quite frankly ridiculous. Nothing really justifies waiting a year for this.
Apple already has everything it needs to replace batteries worldwide right now (either with third party official repair companies or their own), and the cost of doing so will not likely change from here to December 2018.
In this case, this is completely on them.
> 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.
> As always, our team is working on ways to make the user experience even better, including improving how we manage performance and avoid unexpected shutdowns as batteries age.
I cannot think of a better move from Apple than these three options. Bring awareness to the user by displaying battery performance and if updating the battery would resolve their power issues, you have a (now even cheaper) method of fixing it. As I understand it, the only way to tell if one needs to update their battery is by downloading some third party app (that costs money) and then praying that it helps in some way.
Also wanted to point out that by going deeper into the issue with this article shows (at least to me) some sense of transparency and should be really encouraged. While I disagree that they needed a scandal to bring clarity and it should've been brought up a while back, it's still great they did it nonetheless. This has been a conspiracy for some time, glad to see Apple has shed some light on it.
I wish they would put a new 10.3 version with the new battery code out. I have every intention of not using iOS 11 due to feature changes that don't work well for me (like the control center wifi/Bluetooth silliness).
Won't happen, though - this is Apple.
I am afraid of ever breaking this phone because it is my understanding a restore from backup forces an update to the latest code.
I like the way macOS 10.12 works (I prefer 10.8, but whatever). At least Apple provides security and patch updates to 10.12 and I can stay on it for several years until they put out another version I either need to upgrade to (for third party reasons) or want to.
Apple does not allow me to stay on iOS 10. I have no option to upgrade to 10.3.4 - they won't put out a 10.3.4 even. No, the only option is 11.
If 10 is working for me, why am I forced to move to 11?
This is very anti-consumer of Apple.
The fact is that new OS and software is designed to run on the latest hardware and checked on older hardware to see if it will work at all.
The conspiracy theorists think that Apple has been doing this with their phones since they started making them, and for their computers for decades.
It's horseshit, of course, and I wish the statement had been stronger.
The tinfoil garbage is about like if people complained that game companies were intentionally slowing things down for older graphics cards. No. That's just the natural progression as technology advances.
This is a case where Apple is slowing things down, but doing so to improve the user experience, not make it worse.
You have almost all of reddit and several other idiot websites that have been complaining for years about perceived slow-downs now feeling vindicated over this. And it's complete garbage.
I wish people could separate issues effectively, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards.
So I question the question is would users be happier having their phone slow down or having the battery appear to drain extremely fast?
I guess my answer to that would depend on how bad the average “slowdown“ is. I think you’re right if the issue is serious, but if most people only take a 10% hit when your phone is old then the slowdown may be a better option.
I’ll admit that I’m not sure how possible that is. If this technique would let you pretend that the battery only had half its capacity left without slowing down the phone then that maybe one thing. If even a slight battery degradation meant you have to pretend the phone only had 1/20th of its original battery left then obviously that’s pointless.
Having a too small battery is the exact definition of planned obsolescence!
If they hadn't tried to make the phones as small as possible and used a battery with 20% more capacity the problems would not be as severe.
That’s not true. Having a too-small battery on purpose is planned obsolescence. Having a small battery (what does "too small" means? Compared to what?) has nothing to do with that. That’s the purpose of "planned" in "planned obsolescence".
If a battery has not enough capacity to carry the phone trough a whole day after 1-2 years of use then it was too small to begin with.
I have the feeling that iPhone batteries are just large enough that the phones survives a day of medium use if the phone is brand new. After 1 or 2 years the battery is so bad that it barely holds enough charge for a few hours of usage.
That’s just a feeling. I’ve had my iPhone for 3 years now and the battery is completely fine.
Perhaps there is _some_ good intention on Apple's part. But I think it hides a just-as-motivating factor as forcing upgrade purchases. My opinion is their position is disingenuous at best. I would rather see them move toward the customer having the control to choose the experience or not instead of - as they explained - only adding transparency into the decisions into which Apple is forcing you.
Plainly, my experience was: I had perfectly healthy hardware, yet my 2-gen old device was almost too slow to be useable. And now here I sit with a $1200 unnecessary replacement.
Pulling down search on the home screen: freeze. Typing into search input: freeze. Unlocking from notifications screen: freeze. Freezes every two or three times an app is opened or closed. Screen transitions always stutter a little, Safari hangs, screen becomes unresponsive, sometimes it just starts draining battery and gets hot with no app running at all.
I think my mention of Android triggered some emotions here (many downvotes). My first smartphone was a Dell with 1.5 that ran horribly slow, around 2010. That one was really bad, couldn't even answer calls most of that time due to unresponsive UI, and is still my benchmark for bad experience. This iPhone is getting quite close.
Let's be clear: Apple knew that they were pushing the hardware of older devices so hard as to lead to premature expiration. Instead of being forthcoming about this, or reducing the unreasonable load they were placing on older hardware, they used software to throttle the older devices causing many consumers to buy a new (often iPhone) device as a response.
This is especially greedy and deceptive and Apple has earned every last bit of negative coverage (and then some).
One could design a phone the thickness of the original iPhone that would be able to take AAA batteries.
8 AAA Eneloops have about the same energy as the batteries in iPhone 6s or iPhone 8, and just shy of an iPhone 7.
If one would accept a phone about 40% thicker than the original iPhone, 3 or 4 AA Eneloops would do it.
I was comfortable with the thickness of my original iPhone, so I would be willing to consider an AAA powered phone. I'd probably even be OK with AA--it would still be thinner than my wallet, which I have no problem with.
In my years of experience owning smartphones, since the original iPhone, and including a Samsung S4 (decommissioned last month - purchased in 2014). I have never experienced sudden shut off from an aging battery.
Have I been lucky or is this extremely rare?
I have only experienced it when my device was displaying less than a 15% charge. It also helps if you practice good battery management, not leaving your phone plugged in all night/day.
I also have a theory that people are damaging their batteries more if they are a heavy user, while the phone is plugged in. If your phone is charging and you are playing a game my phone seems to get much hotter than at any other time.
I find this disturbingly vague. If the slowdown was strictly due to physical battery degradation (and I haven't heard what specific metric(s) they use to objectively measure age/wear), then replacement should instantly reset performance rationing back to its starting point.
They only say it "returns to normal when operated in standard conditions" without defining "standard conditions" and without saying how long it takes before they deign to allow you the performance you paid for.
Their official Battery & Power page acknowledges none of this beyond a separate issue affecting only a two-month manufacturing window of September-October 2015.
And weren't there earlier iPhone models that weren't designed with user-replaceable batteries?
I learned my lesson: you should only buy Apple hardware if you are happy with it as is, if you can't be certain it will remain that way and something goes wrong you have to accept that you will be ignored and Apple will admit to nothing, at the most they will remotely modify your device at whatever cost to the user to prevent them owning up and making replacements.
I've recently had a month-long (and ongoing) to-and-fro of Apple Care repairs to my late 2016 Macbook Pro. I have Apple Care, but it's been more than a month and they're okay with it having taken that long (and being ongoing). The solution to a repair not having fixed a problem is another round of the same tests as last time, followed by a repair that replaces another component. The crash report is easily findable on Google and seems to be a long-standing hardware issue, but Apple Support behave as though it's the first time they've ever encountered it.
What Apple is saying in this media release is "pay us and we'll fix it".
Samsung, under intense criticism from their Note 7 battery scandal, didn't increase battery capacity with their S8. Instead, they opted to take steps to greatly improve battery life (total capacity loss over time). Whilst I still think retaining 95% after a year is wildly optimistic, I'm happy with this change of focus (yes, I bought one).
PS. I noticed that Apple uses lifespan where I use life, and life where I use capacity. Verdict?
>Of course, when a chemically aged battery is replaced with a new one, iPhone performance returns to normal when operated in standard conditions.
"Ofcource". Wow! How the heck is a user supposed to know this?
>We’ve always wanted our customers to be able to use their iPhones as long as possible.
More BS. The iPhone is designed to be unrepairable.
Android has this problem too. If you upgrade your 2 years old phone with the latest Android (if your phone manufacturer did happens to provide update), your phone is not responsive at all. I know, few years ago I updated my Note 1 to Lollipop and it was completely unusable. The good thing is the Note 1 has unlock bootloader and I was able to restore the older software.
Unfortunately, you cannot downgrade iOS. I wish I can as I am on 11.2 and the battery drain is crazy. 10% on idle. FU Apple.
Apple replaced the battery once they admitted to the faulty batch, and my phone has been great since, but the way they handle battery issues is extremely frustrating. Going to an Apple Store and having them to their standard test, being told everything is fine and there's nothing they can do is not what I expect from them.
Has Apple ever acknowledged battery replacement that explicitly? It's almost like the iPhone just grew a removable battery door with those words.
(Also, for those curious, I'm impressed to see that this has 466 comments only 3 hours after being posted.)