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Published by Kevin Chau on Phones

While modern smartphones are notorious for slowing down after extended usage as a result of decreased memory, lower RAM, and general wear down, Apple has been recently accused of purposefully slowing down the performance of older iPhones models.

Although Apple has admitted to this accusation, it has said that the energy demand as a result of increasing usage puts a significant amount of strain on the battery which can cause sudden crashes of the phone. To stop this from happening, Apple limits the amount of energy that leaves the battery and so the phone is ultimately is given less power and is ultimately slower. On the other hand, consumers have claimed that the phone is made slower as a result of the company attempting to push consumers to purchase a newer version of the phone.

The pattern of slowed iPhones became evident this year when many users of older models experienced a significant slowdown on their device once the iPhone 8 and iPhone X were released. With the speculation that this was a strategic move to get users to upgrade their phone, online communities such as Reddit began investigating the issue in order to confirm the hypothesis, giving the investigation the nickname “Batterygate”, a play on words from the presidential “Watergate” scandal. Once it was proven that the phones were being slowed down, class action lawsuits against the company were initiated which demanded that Apple replace models older than the iPhone 8 for all iPhones in the United States. As one of the most expensive and profitable pieces of consumer technologies available, the lawsuit could be devastating for the company and its brand if there is reason to believe that this move is a sales strategy.

Although Apple holds that this measure is to improve the user experience and to stop the phone from unexpectedly shutting down, it must now defend itself in court to explain that this is not a tactic. As a company with an impeccable record for providing the highest quality products, it can be extremely surprising to see that it has admitted to purposefully slowing down the phones. Furthermore, although the software update that slowed the phone down was one with a seemingly legitimate purpose which can actually help users, the fact that Apple did not fully disclose its purpose has led many to believe that it was meant to be a hidden secret and that consumers were not given full transparency of the move.