Apple Slowing down iPhones

New / Design
ismo

New Design

BIO
I’m a graphic designer who has a love for product design and user experience.
ismomore
Dec 22, 2017 37 Comments

This is interesting, but I don’t think Apple made the wrong call on their decision.

Maybe it should have been explained to the public, which is a PR problem...but the decision Apple made was the correct one based on a User Experience/Product Management perspective in my opinion.

The issue is, Lithium batteries are not great...but it’s the best one on the market today. Batteries die. Apple chooses to prolong the life of your battery, but reducing the performance. It makes sense.

So the worse your battery gets, the slower your phone gets.

Why have a phone that is speedy, but needs to live on a charger? Is it not better to have a phone that is functional, but is slower when transitioning between apps?

I personally believe it is more important to have a phone that lasts longer throughout the day than it is for it to be speedy and responsive.

But now that you know...battery health effects the performance of your device, you understand that if you are experiencing intolerable performance, it might be time to take it to a shop to replace your battery.

This more than likely this happens around that 2-3 year mark when you are eligible for an upgrade. Which is normal, it even happens to laptops. I used to work at Best Buy and some people would come in after 6 months to a year to replace their battery. Lithium batteries make them last longer, but they still wear out in a couple years...maybe a little longer depending on the work that you do.

So you do the math....

1) you can replace your own battery, there are plenty of tutorials on how to do it on YouTube.

If you don’t feel comfortable changing your own battery:

2) Pay to replace the battery which can cost about $100+/- at Apple or another store....

3) or get into another contract for 24-30 months which will cost you $800+/-.

Your choice.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with their decision? Should they have been more transparent? Do you think other companies also do this?

comments

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TOP 37 Comments
  • LinkedIn / Eng Ls19s2
    I don’t know how much I believe this excuse... If they really cared, they’d let you keep your phone permanently in battery saver mode.

    As soon as your phone charges over 80%, it gets disabled... & if your bluetooth has been off for > 1 day, they automatically turn it back on.
    Dec 22, 2017 1
    • New / Design
      ismo

      New Design

      BIO
      I’m a graphic designer who has a love for product design and user experience.
      ismomore
      OP
      That’s true. I haven’t really thought about leaving the phone in battery saver mode.
      Dec 22, 2017
  • Facebook / Creative
    The problem is that you were not informed that $100 option exists when you hit the slowdown.
    Dec 22, 2017 2
    • New / Design
      ismo

      New Design

      BIO
      I’m a graphic designer who has a love for product design and user experience.
      ismomore
      OP
      I totally agree, which is why I’m thinking this is just a bad PR thing. Maybe being a little more transparent would have been much better.
      Dec 22, 2017
    • New / Design
      ismo

      New Design

      BIO
      I’m a graphic designer who has a love for product design and user experience.
      ismomore
      OP
      I guess what is important is to know how much the user needs to know. There are a lot of decisions made on a daily basis on many products that never are explained to the consumer.
      Dec 22, 2017
  • Microsoft / Mktg
    UPiO54

    Microsoft Mktg

    PRE
    McKinsey
    UPiO54more
    I have used phones and laptops in the past. Their batteries degraded over time and I would either replace the battery or the device. With the iPhone I have, it takes 10-15 sec to open any app that is not in memory and the slow down started a few months ago after a certain upgrade. Would Apple rather have the battery degrade and consumers think the problem is the battery OR have people think Apple is doing something sinister to get them to upgrade their device?
    Dec 22, 2017 0
  • Microsoft / Eng Arye11
    Yeah, they’re thinking about prolonging the life of your device, that’s why they slow it. Cause that’s how they make money, right? Oh, wait...
    Dec 22, 2017 3
    • New / Design
      ismo

      New Design

      BIO
      I’m a graphic designer who has a love for product design and user experience.
      ismomore
      OP
      Doesn’t most of their revenue come from iTunes, not hardware. The sales of apps, music, tv/movies. I was told that-that was the reason why they push updates as far back as they could, so older devices can have access to the App Store.
      Dec 22, 2017
    • New / Design
      ismo

      New Design

      BIO
      I’m a graphic designer who has a love for product design and user experience.
      ismomore
      OP
      But you’re right, it will help push consumers to purchase another device. Especially since this would typically be the time they could renew their contracts.
      Dec 22, 2017
    • Apple / Eng
      bender-😒

      Apple Eng

      PRE
      Microsoft
      bender-😒more
      The most popular device world wide is the iPhone 6. China is loaded with them. So yes, making new iOS work on these old devices is pretty important given how much money Apple makes off of services and app sales. Prolonging device life seems a bit too PR for me. The real reason is they don’t want the phone to be burning hot from playing music, while browsing the web and running nav in the background while the battery drains like a bastard.

      Adding in a concurrent task surge protector is just the most pragmatic approach when dealing with the randomness of a new resource hungry OS mixed with countless 3rd party apps.

      The messaging here was just poorly done. People should know the impact of a new major version release on old hardware. And people shouldn’t be naive enough to believe that installing new OS on 2-3 year old hardware isn’t going to be slower.
      Dec 22, 2017
  • Splunk DesiLaunda
    Well judging by the post how much did you get paid buddy?
    Dec 22, 2017 1
    • New / Design
      ismo

      New Design

      BIO
      I’m a graphic designer who has a love for product design and user experience.
      ismomore
      OP
      Zero. I think it was a good conversation to have among other designers.
      Dec 22, 2017
  • Apple / Eng
    bender-😒

    Apple Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    bender-😒more
    It was the right call. Just very poorly communicated.
    Dec 22, 2017 0
  • Microsoft / Eng Arye11
    Btw, most of us work in tech. This excuse might work for the naive folks. Apple guys, cut the crap. At least here.
    Dec 22, 2017 5
    • Apple / Eng TomCook
      Very ironic comment. Most of us work in tech, so we should all be familiar with clickbait headlines that completely misrepresent whatever is actually happening. The cynicism and conspiracy theories are ridiculous, especially coming from tech.
      Dec 22, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng 20% raise
      Its clearly an excuse. Otherwise it would run at full speed when on a charger
      Dec 22, 2017
    • Apple / Eng TomCook
      So to be clear, you are accusing Apple of blatantly lying to the entire world? The largest public company is risking billions upon billions of dollars, pointlessly lying about the issue and hoping that it goes away and nobody will ever look into it?
      Dec 22, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng 20% raise
      Yes. I believe Apple used to call this a "reality distortion field"

      Btw "largest public company" is extremely misleading. Apple has large stockpiles of cash that should be returned to investors. Instead Apple has refused to pay sufficient dividends.
      Dec 23, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng Arye11
      Tomcook, yes, you got it. Apple is lying.
      Dec 23, 2017
  • Expedia Iomb55
    I smell a class action lawsuit. It's surprising the stock hasn't moved much on this news.
    Dec 22, 2017 2
    • New / Design
      ismo

      New Design

      BIO
      I’m a graphic designer who has a love for product design and user experience.
      ismomore
      OP
      There is one already being pushed through... not sure if it would stick though. This is a really interesting story to follow up on.

      How much of the design process and thinking should be shown to the consumer?

      Also know their competitors would also be listening as well.
      Dec 22, 2017
    • Expedia Iomb55
      Design that manipulates the users current devices send conveniently nudges them to buy the latest device should be disclosed. At least bury it in some terms and conditions.
      Dec 22, 2017
  • Microsoft Key-Talent
    Bastards! what if car manufacturers did this kind of stuff in thier software. Maybe like one company did with diesel engines.
    Dec 22, 2017 2
    • New / Design
      ismo

      New Design

      BIO
      I’m a graphic designer who has a love for product design and user experience.
      ismomore
      OP
      That’s interesting...I don’t think auto manufacturers are concerned with making a car last longer. They would rather you trade in and buy a new car. Once you get out of warranty, your car begins to break down and costs of repair is really expensive.

      Apple has invested interest in making sure their devices last longer because they will continue to get revenue through iTunes.

      An auto manufacturer, is similar to Samsung, LG, Motorola or HTC. Their profits only come from that initial sale. They do not make money off of the Google Playstore. This is why I don’t think they put as much effort to making updates readily available for their devices.
      Dec 22, 2017
    • Microsoft Key-Talent
      At least the class action suit got start today.
      Dec 22, 2017
  • Apple / Eng
    bender-😒

    Apple Eng

    PRE
    Microsoft
    bender-😒more
    The slowdown isn’t constant. I can barely notice this on my 6s. Just with high spikes of concurrent tasks. IMO, it was a totally pragmatic decision that just wasn’t communicated well, or at all. But in typical fashion, nerd rage ensues. Better this slowdown happen then have a burning hot phone that shuts down suddenly.

    Either let the user know that this will be the new behavior with older models, or have a rollback option to install and older version back. Problem solved. Or stop installing latest and greatest software on old hardware and being surprised when the performance isn’t as good. I’d imagine people would have had enough experience with this from windows updates.

    Going to be one of those teachable moments for Apple.
    Dec 23, 2017 0
  • Apple / Eng lubadubdub
    Fuck those guys
    Dec 22, 2017 0
  • Microsoft / Eng 20% raise
    Are they going to speed it up again after you replace the battery? I think not. Otherwise they would make it run at full speed while connected to a charger
    Dec 22, 2017 5
  • Tableau EdwardEH
    How about giving users the option to make an informed choice?
    Dec 22, 2017 3
    • New / Design
      ismo

      New Design

      BIO
      I’m a graphic designer who has a love for product design and user experience.
      ismomore
      OP
      That’s not what Apple does though. They are design first. They take away that choice because they put so much emphasis in User Experience. They feel that these things are issues that should be resolved by the designers, not the consumers. “It just works” wouldn’t just work, if they left that choice to the consumer.
      Dec 22, 2017
    • Tableau EdwardEH
      I get that - I really do; but in this kind of instance it feels disingenuous to pretend the decision to not allow that control in the settings menu isn't plain dishonest. Anyway - we'll see where it goes from here or if they even do anything with this.
      Dec 22, 2017
    • Microsoft / Eng CwCJ71
      It sounds as if the Apple Designers make the choice when I upgrade my phone. That’s the problem
      Jan 21, 2018

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