Apple has been fighting this for a few years. Once iPhone users learned that the company intentionally slowed down devices with older batteries, it has been the assumption that this was done for the purpose of forcing people to buy new phones and not hold on to their older ones. This has been disproven, but the fight rages on.
Despite Apple’s “planned obsolescence” being disproven, they have lost a lawsuit in Quebec, Canada. The litigation reached Quebec’s Supreme Court, and they decided Apple was dishonest with their claims regarding their devices with a rechargeable battery and weren’t clear regarding the AppleCare and AppleCare+ coverage.
The lawsuit against Apple alleged the company was dishonest with Quebec residents who bought Apple devices after December 29, 2014, and those who purchased the extra warranty coverage after December 20, 2015.
The claim worked off Apple’s admissions that it intentionally slowed down devices with older batteries to prevent then from randomly shutting down. One of the plaintiffs had an iPhone 5 that they said became “completely useless” after going through an Apple software update.
Along with the phone battery issue, however, the lawsuit complained that Apple wasn’t clear with customers regarding the AppleCare extended warranty. It’s their belief the coverage that is provided isn’t worth the price they charge for it.
Unclear in fliers for the lawsuit was what they considered a “reasonable” amount of time would be for batteries to last. Lithium-ion batteries all become less useful as they age. This will affect battery life, which will then affect the performance of a device.
This happens with all devices, whether they are Apple or not and is why batteries are considered consumables, meaning they often aren’t protected by consumer laws.
Also not clear was Apple’s intention when it intentionally began slowing devices with older batteries down when they pushed out the iOS 10.2.1 update.
Yet, this was not planned obsolescence. Apple started slowing down the devices, performance throttling, to prevent them from randomly slowing down, something that happens with all older lithium-ion batteries.
Apple issued performance updates to fix the problem with the current iOS 12, issued a cheaper battery replacement program, and will implement new methods of saving the battery in iOS 13, which is expected to be released this coming September.
Apple Loses Lawsuit
Nevertheless, Quebec’s Supreme Court has decided residents who bought an Apple device or the AppleCare extended warranty may be eligible for up to $300 in compensation. However, this only applies to Quebec residents.
The question remains, however, if this will reach Apple users elsewhere and continue the disinformation being spread that Apple implements planned obsolescence, even though the companies feels throttling performance is better than the batteries becoming unusable as they age.
Do you have an Apple device that slowed down when the battery got older? Do you still believe it’s planned obsolescence? Howe does this court decision affect you? Chime in to the comments below.