iPhone depleted battery throttling controversy investigations expand to Israel

Posted:
in iPhone
Israel's Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority has launched an investigation into Apple's throttling of iPhones with chemically depleted or otherwise damaged batteries, suggesting the company could be at fault for not properly informing customers.




The agency has already questioned the head of Apple Israel, Rony Friedman, according to Reuters. A spokesman said the Authority could potentially level fines, but that it's still too early to discuss the possibility in Apple's case.

Following a wave of anecdotal evidence, Apple in December admitted that iOS slows down iPhones with poorly functioning batteries, nominally to prevent sudden shutdowns. While the company later apologized and offered concessions -- specifically $29 battery replacements and new options in iOS 11.3 -- it was soon hit with a bevy of lawsuits, as well as probes by governments around the world.

Countries looking into Apple's practices include Brazil, Canada, France, Italy, South Korea, and the U.S.

Some critics and lawsuits have accused Apple of planned obsolescence -- intentionally capping the performance of older iPhones to encourage people to buy new ones. Arguably, a phone that doesn't crash when under high power demand is a more reliable device than one that does, but as consumers shift more everyday functions to the device beyond communications, a crash-free device may be a secondary concern to speed.

Battery replacements have always been available to customers, which would have returned the as-new performance to the device. However, the option wasn't generally presented clearly to consumers.

Following the replacement of a chemically depleted battery, iPhone benchmarks return to what they were with a fresh battery.

Customers have complained that new versions of iOS can make iPhones slower, but in recent years Apple has worked to better optimize performance. To a certain extent performance hits as the OS is updated are expected, since new features are often more demanding on iPhone resources.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 25
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,169member
    Idiotic move .
    A smart country like Israel should know that this is quite stupid. I mean punish a company for trying to support old devices . Wow.
    jbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 25
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,105member
    seankill said:
    What a surprise, I guess our tax dollars are not enough.
    It amuses me how alike people are on Apple forums and Android forums. Here, Apple can do no wrong. There, Android is prefect. 

    Apple definitely failed to properly inform customers. These organizations shall make sure that it wasn’t intentional. 
    True Apple lovers criticize Apple when they are wrong. In the battery case, Apple wasn’t wrong they were actually helping heavy use customers get longer life out of their iPhone than if they did nothing. I imagine nobody realized this was happening until someone did some testing. Batteries don’t last forever, people know that. They see flashlights dim over time and know it’s time to replace them. The only reason there’s  lawsuits is because of the typical ambulance chasing lawyers who forgot the ethics oath they took. 
    vladgellerStrangeDaysjbdragonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 25
    Planned obsolescence is lack of sofware update for android phones after a short while such a device is unfortunately bought. If these organizations were legitimate, which they aren't, they would look into that. No sane consumer would like their phone dead instead of slightly reduced peak peak performance.  These are just hawks trying to earn a buck
    jason leavittjbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 25
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 307member
    Interesting how the article just glosses over the fact that for all the years we've had iPhones, we didn't need to throttle them down when the batteries get older, until now... Why is that? 
    atomic101feudalistairnerd
  • Reply 5 of 25
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,006administrator
    AI_lias said:
    Interesting how the article just glosses over the fact that for all the years we've had iPhones, we didn't need to throttle them down when the batteries get older, until now... Why is that? 
    Because they just crashed before. We've been over this.
    edited April 2018 MplsPjason leavittjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 25
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,729member
    rob53 said:
    seankill said:
    What a surprise, I guess our tax dollars are not enough.
    It amuses me how alike people are on Apple forums and Android forums. Here, Apple can do no wrong. There, Android is prefect. 

    Apple definitely failed to properly inform customers. These organizations shall make sure that it wasn’t intentional. 
    True Apple lovers criticize Apple when they are wrong. In the battery case, Apple wasn’t wrong they were actually helping heavy use customers get longer life out of their iPhone than if they did nothing. I imagine nobody realized this was happening until someone did some testing. Batteries don’t last forever, people know that. They see flashlights dim over time and know it’s time to replace them. The only reason there’s  lawsuits is because of the typical ambulance chasing lawyers who forgot the ethics oath they took. 

    That depends your view of what Apple's intent was. Maintaining device reliability is good, even if you have to compromise performance a touch to do it. The problem is the way apple went about it. Had they been more open and forthright about what was going on then there would be no debate, but by concealing the 'feature,' they left their intent open to speculation. If you like Apple, then their motives were purely good. If you hate Apple or even if you are a only bit cynical, then this was a veiled attempt to get people to upgrade their phones. As it is, people may have been either intentionally or unintentionally deceived into upgrading devices that only needed a new battery, and therein lies the problem.

    Edit: Apple wasn't wrong to throttle the performance and prevent crashes; they were wrong to do so without telling people what they were doing.
    edited April 2018 atomic101muthuk_vanalingamairnerd
  • Reply 7 of 25
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,028member
    rob53 said:
    seankill said:
    What a surprise, I guess our tax dollars are not enough.
    It amuses me how alike people are on Apple forums and Android forums. Here, Apple can do no wrong. There, Android is prefect. 

    Apple definitely failed to properly inform customers. These organizations shall make sure that it wasn’t intentional. 
    True Apple lovers criticize Apple when they are wrong. In the battery case, Apple wasn’t wrong they were actually helping heavy use customers get longer life out of their iPhone than if they did nothing. I imagine nobody realized this was happening until someone did some testing. Batteries don’t last forever, people know that. They see flashlights dim over time and know it’s time to replace them. The only reason there’s  lawsuits is because of the typical ambulance chasing lawyers who forgot the ethics oath they took. 

    Well complaining didn't start until 8 months after the update was applied, (when someone decided to benchmark his phone after updating to iOS 11) so at least Apple can throw that at the courts as proof that it wasn't really a widespread problem or that it was part of some nefarious scheme to obsolete 2 year old phones even though they still supported 4 year old phones.

    On a side note, why do all the articles call it "battery throttling" ? The damned battery isn't throttled, the CPU is.
    jason leavittjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 25
    AI_lias said:
    Interesting how the article just glosses over the fact that for all the years we've had iPhones, we didn't need to throttle them down when the batteries get older, until now... Why is that? 
    It's very simple actually. That's because what your're saying doesn't make any sense. You didn't have an iphone or didn't keep it long enough. My first one, the 3GS, after a long service, was shutting down when the battery level reached 60%. That should paint a clearer picture for you. 
    jbdragonjony0
  • Reply 9 of 25
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 307member
    AI_lias said:
    Interesting how the article just glosses over the fact that for all the years we've had iPhones, we didn't need to throttle them down when the batteries get older, until now... Why is that? 
    It's very simple actually. That's because what your're saying doesn't make any sense. You didn't have an iphone or didn't keep it long enough. My first one, the 3GS, after a long service, was shutting down when the battery level reached 60%. That should paint a clearer picture for you. 
    I've had the 4, 5, 6, 6s and now the 8. I guess I didn't keep the long enough, as you say, for them to shut down while there was still a charge. I've never heard of them shutting down unexpectedly until now when Apple started throttling them. Was yours an isolated exception?
    vladgellerairnerd
  • Reply 10 of 25
    Well either this or have issues like Samsung as well. Faster means more power and that can cause fires. What Apple did not admit openly (and I know from someone "close to Apple") that there were some cases when Apple mobile devices left nightstands charcoaled... but sure Samsung has only those battery problems, right? Lower the power consumption by slowing devices and you avoid some heat issues as well. Relaibility, heat and safety. Nothing is free.
  • Reply 11 of 25
    ivanhivanh Posts: 397member

    My Phone 6 Plus running Geekbench 4:

    Date

    Battery Health - Maximum Capacity

    Single Core Score

    Multi-Core

    iOS version

    5 April 2018

    97%, 1 year old

    1544

    2616

    11.3

    7 Jan 2018

    8 months old battery

    975

    1623

    11.2.1

    end April 2017

    iPhone replaced




    14 April 2017

    20 months old battery

    914

    1747

    10.3.1

    Early August 2015

    new iPhone




    The tests on 7 Jan 2018 and 14 April 2017 were done immediately after restarting the iPhone, at ambient temperature about 20ºC - 25ºC, after annoying and embarrassing moments that the iPhone took at least 6 times longer to respond to take a photo with the native camera button while no other apps were stayed in the background.

    Please explain the throttling on 7 Jan 2018.

    Besides, only 8 months old, 97% of maximum capacity, fully charged and with or without connecting on AC power with 2.1A original charger, an iPhone 6 Plus was still throttled down to single core 975, multi-core 1623. Can you still blind your eyes and say you believe it’s all related to battery depletion? 

    airnerd
  • Reply 12 of 25
    AI_lias said:
    AI_lias said:
    Interesting how the article just glosses over the fact that for all the years we've had iPhones, we didn't need to throttle them down when the batteries get older, until now... Why is that? 
    It's very simple actually. That's because what your're saying doesn't make any sense. You didn't have an iphone or didn't keep it long enough. My first one, the 3GS, after a long service, was shutting down when the battery level reached 60%. That should paint a clearer picture for you. 
    I've had the 4, 5, 6, 6s and now the 8. I guess I didn't keep the long enough, as you say, for them to shut down while there was still a charge. I've never heard of them shutting down unexpectedly until now when Apple started throttling them. Was yours an isolated exception?
    Unfortunately no. The same happened with my other iphones and macbook pros. Every battery loses capacity over time. It doesn't even matter if it's a phone or indeed an Apple product. So I'm glad Apple chose to prevent this. It's a very small trad-off which ensures that I can use them with a worn battery w/o them shutting down and the pissing of that follows it. 
  • Reply 13 of 25
    ivanhivanh Posts: 397member
    mjtomlin said:
    Well complaining didn't start until 8 months after the update was applied, (when someone decided to benchmark his phone after updating to iOS 11) so at least Apple can throw that at the courts as proof that it wasn't really a widespread problem or that it was part of some nefarious scheme to obsolete 2 year old phones even though they still supported 4 year old phones.

    On a side note, why do all the articles call it "battery throttling" ? The damned battery isn't throttled, the CPU is.
    Sorry guy. I was fully aware of and started benchmarking iPhone 6 Plus all the way back to mid 2016. 

    Also, CPU is not the single cause of throttling. The developing tool.  E.g. Xcode, and UIKit can easily differentiate models and control their performance, in a way that even though CPU is not throttled, the iPhone still slows down, technically speaking.  Apple should prove the contrary.

  • Reply 14 of 25
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,006administrator
    ivanh said:
    mjtomlin said:
    Well complaining didn't start until 8 months after the update was applied, (when someone decided to benchmark his phone after updating to iOS 11) so at least Apple can throw that at the courts as proof that it wasn't really a widespread problem or that it was part of some nefarious scheme to obsolete 2 year old phones even though they still supported 4 year old phones.

    On a side note, why do all the articles call it "battery throttling" ? The damned battery isn't throttled, the CPU is.
    Sorry guy. I was fully aware of and started benchmarking iPhone 6 Plus all the way back to mid 2016. 

    Also, CPU is not the single cause of throttling. The developing tool.  E.g. Xcode, and UIKit can easily differentiate models and control their performance, in a way that even though CPU is not throttled, the iPhone still slows down, technically speaking.  Apple should prove the contrary.

    You can't prove a negative. We've been over this before.

    And, stop spamming my forums with a copy/paste job. You got banned once before for doing it, amongst other violations of the forum rules. Consider yourself warned.
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 15 of 25
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 673member
    AI_lias said:
    Interesting how the article just glosses over the fact that for all the years we've had iPhones, we didn't need to throttle them down when the batteries get older, until now... Why is that? 
    Because they just crashed before. We've been over this.
    Sorry Mike, I'm on my 4th iPhone with my wife having the same versions I've always had (with a 6 vs 6+ difference).  I typically keep my phone for 3 years and then upgrade and have never once had an iPhone ever just crash on me.  I can't recall a single time one has even unexpectedly frozen or shut down at all, let alone a repeated instance of it which forced me to change the battery or the phone.  

    Dismiss that as anecdotal, since it is, but to me the anger around this case isn't the throttling it is the underhanded way they slipped it into a minor release and put tech jargon around it in order to downplay the significance of it.  Were they trying to pull a fast one?  Doubt it.  Is this planned obsolescence?  No.  If it REALLY was intended to be a helpful feature shouldn't they have been more forthcoming?  Yes.  And since they weren't, now they have to put up with BS like these lawsuits.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 673member
    mjtomlin said:
    rob53 said:
    seankill said:
    What a surprise, I guess our tax dollars are not enough.
    It amuses me how alike people are on Apple forums and Android forums. Here, Apple can do no wrong. There, Android is prefect. 

    Apple definitely failed to properly inform customers. These organizations shall make sure that it wasn’t intentional. 
    True Apple lovers criticize Apple when they are wrong. In the battery case, Apple wasn’t wrong they were actually helping heavy use customers get longer life out of their iPhone than if they did nothing. I imagine nobody realized this was happening until someone did some testing. Batteries don’t last forever, people know that. They see flashlights dim over time and know it’s time to replace them. The only reason there’s  lawsuits is because of the typical ambulance chasing lawyers who forgot the ethics oath they took. 

    Well complaining didn't start until 8 months after the update was applied, (when someone decided to benchmark his phone after updating to iOS 11) so at least Apple can throw that at the courts as proof that it wasn't really a widespread problem or that it was part of some nefarious scheme to obsolete 2 year old phones even though they still supported 4 year old phones.

    On a side note, why do all the articles call it "battery throttling" ? The damned battery isn't throttled, the CPU is.
    I question your claim.  People have been claiming throttling forever, about smartphones in particular.  The difference is that someone actually came up with concrete proof it was happening and that is when Apple said "ok, you caught us.  We do this, but only the last 8 months.  Trust us this time even though we haven't been forthcoming for the last 8 months".  It's minor, but it is a trust issue.  
  • Reply 17 of 25
    gadramsgadrams Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I love my apple devices but whats wrong is wrong. I have iPhone 4s, 5 and 5s, and iPad Air 2... no updated to those devices past 10.#... still running strong. There is a proverb that says...When the river sounds, it's because it carries water. If 100 people were saying that apple intentionally was capping the performance of older iPhones to encourage people to buy new ones then i would say it's personal. However, the amount of people and media saying this, I have to think otherwise.... Another thing that makes them fishy is that one thing they are offering at discount, the battery replacement. Damage control says better take a hit for throttle batteries than for the consumer to know we were screwing up with older iphones to make you buy a new phone... These huge companies, including samsung cause i think they are also doing it, built great devices in recent years that there was no need for an upgrade. Well, this must have affected their sales area, an what a better way to send an update that drains battery down? Wife has an iPhone 6s and after the battery replacement battery still depleted quickly. Perhaps apple wanted to drain battery just a tiny bit and ti did not turn out as expected.. lol Anyways, I think apple should allow people to downgrade their IOS when facing such predicaments.
  • Reply 18 of 25
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 673member
    gadrams said:
    I love my apple devices but whats wrong is wrong. I have iPhone 4s, 5 and 5s, and iPad Air 2... no updated to those devices past 10.#... still running strong. There is a proverb that says...When the river sounds, it's because it carries water. If 100 people were saying that apple intentionally was capping the performance of older iPhones to encourage people to buy new ones then i would say it's personal. However, the amount of people and media saying this, I have to think otherwise.... Another thing that makes them fishy is that one thing they are offering at discount, the battery replacement. Damage control says better take a hit for throttle batteries than for the consumer to know we were screwing up with older iphones to make you buy a new phone... These huge companies, including samsung cause i think they are also doing it, built great devices in recent years that there was no need for an upgrade. Well, this must have affected their sales area, an what a better way to send an update that drains battery down? Wife has an iPhone 6s and after the battery replacement battery still depleted quickly. Perhaps apple wanted to drain battery just a tiny bit and ti did not turn out as expected.. lol Anyways, I think apple should allow people to downgrade their IOS when facing such predicaments.
    It depletes quickly because the collective guts inside it aren't up to the task to run the newer processes efficiently.  It would be like wondering why a game on a PS4 looks bad connected to a CRT TV from the 80's.  Sure it can run it, but you aren't going to see the same efficiency or experience.  Does that make it impossible to deal with?  Nope.  It's just what we have to understand happens and accept it or upgrade.  
  • Reply 19 of 25
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,006administrator
    airnerd said:
    AI_lias said:
    Interesting how the article just glosses over the fact that for all the years we've had iPhones, we didn't need to throttle them down when the batteries get older, until now... Why is that? 
    Because they just crashed before. We've been over this.
    Sorry Mike, I'm on my 4th iPhone with my wife having the same versions I've always had (with a 6 vs 6+ difference).  I typically keep my phone for 3 years and then upgrade and have never once had an iPhone ever just crash on me.  I can't recall a single time one has even unexpectedly frozen or shut down at all, let alone a repeated instance of it which forced me to change the battery or the phone.  

    Dismiss that as anecdotal, since it is, but to me the anger around this case isn't the throttling it is the underhanded way they slipped it into a minor release and put tech jargon around it in order to downplay the significance of it.  Were they trying to pull a fast one?  Doubt it.  Is this planned obsolescence?  No.  If it REALLY was intended to be a helpful feature shouldn't they have been more forthcoming?  Yes.  And since they weren't, now they have to put up with BS like these lawsuits.
    I'm not happy about how they handled it, and I've said so on multiple occasions.

    But, the lunatics popping up saying that this confirms that Apple slows down iPhones to get you to buy a new one? That demonstrates a basic lack of science knowledge, and a failure of critical thinking ability, given that the phones return to full speed when the battery is replaced.
    edited April 2018 airnerdbadmonk
  • Reply 20 of 25
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I find Apple's claim that they were trying to prevent crashes with older batteries completely technically believable. 

    Unless these people have some specific evidence (e.g. emails of Apple execs discussing how it was for planned obsolessence) then it's nothing but a conspiracy theory and they are embarrasing themselves with these investigations.
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