Apple are in a spot of bother again, after it was revealed the tech giant slows down their old phones intentionally.
Apple users have long suspected the iPhone has the longevity of a hamster, despite the tech giant’s claims of designing smartphones with less lag than other models like the Samsung or OnePlus.
Now a teenager from Tennessee has proved our suspicions – and it could cost Apple billions of dollars in lawsuits.
Meet the guy who outsmarted the smartphone: 17-year-old high school student, Tyler Barney, from Mt Juliet, Tennessee, who goes by the Reddit username TeckFire.
In a press release the young genius’ uncle, Rob Blevins, sent to news outlets, Barney explained his suspicions arose when his iPhone 6s started slowing down drastically.
It became buggy. That’s the best way to put it. It was a big mess all the time. Even typing was painful. Seconds passed between keystrokes.
Barney assumed the next updated operating system release by Apple would bring his phone back to life and in the meantime, he started investigating whether the problem persisted on his brother’s older model iPhone 6.
Still, he said his brother’s phone, which had an inferior processor but was a year newer, was much faster.
Barney turned to Reddit, where some savvy users suggested he replace the battery. He did this and his phone sped back up, so he concluded the decreased performance was due to the phones lithium-ion batteries, the Tennessean reports.
So with Apple slowing down their phones deliberately it means customers are forced to turn in their old handsets and buy updated (and by extension much more expensive) models.
The has led to a class action being brought against the tech firm, CNBC reports. Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas claim Apple never requested their consent to ‘slow down their iPhones’.
There are a few ways to counteract Apple’s ‘active decay switch’. One Reddit user came up with a solution to replace the old battery for a new one which will lead to a ‘returned performance’, bringing ‘CPU clock speeds back to normal’.
Apple have since released a statement saying:
Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices.
Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.
Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.
Apple has also promised to reduce 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.
The new price will be introduced in late January and become available worldwide through December 2018.
The firm will also cut prices around the world, but has not yet revealed the pricing outside the US.