…..and they’ll probably fail terribly.
Right before the first cases of early shutdowns on Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S started showing up, those using the Google Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X had already seen it all. In both cases (Apple and Google), the phones would shut down when the battery was still at 20%, 30% or in some cases, over 50%.
This in itself was a weird occurrence. While the ever-reliable Apple moved swiftly to fix the problem via the following major OS upgrade, those using the Google Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X were easily absorbed into another even more serious problem – the bootloop issue. We all know what transpired thereafter, with lawsuits being thrown around from all quarters but with little to no success. It’s never an easy thing to deal with these huge companies in court cases because they more often than not end up winning the case or getting it dropped.
With the release of iOS 10.2.1, Apple made it clear that 70% and 80% of the battery issues on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S, respectively, had been solved. At the time, Cupertino said that it had tweaked the battery management system such that whenever these devices shutdown, they’ll automatically restart without the knowledge of the user or without the need to be plugged into a power source. This was a welcome fix for those affected, but as per the latest discoveries, it appears that in providing this fix, Apple did mess up with the performance of the phones.
This week, Apple conceded that it does slow down older iPhones in a bid to keep the phones more relevant for a longer period of time, something that has already resulted in a series of lawsuits. What those behind these lawsuits seem to be forgetting is that like any other, iPhones are subjected to wear and tear during their years of use. The most noticeable result of wear and tear in phones is inconsistent performances often characterized by slow execution of tasks and poor battery life.
When a battery goes through numerous charge and discharge cycles, it gets weaker to a point that if it shows it has 25% juice left, it’s not the same 25% you’d get from a phone/battery when it’s still new. It’s possible that an old battery at 25% may be outputting the entire 25% of its potential capacity in one moment, which means the next moment’s output is near 0%, hence the sudden shutdown. To take care of this problem, Apple tweaked how the processor works, such that when the battery starts getting old, the clock speed gets slower and in turn draws less power from the battery, thus helping keep the phone alive for longer periods.
This is a great way of keeping iPhone devices in use, but what many are not so happy about is that Apple chose to do this silently without alerting them. The argument is that if Apple would have gone public with this so-called feature, many wouldn’t have shelled out hundreds of dollars on a new iPhone when changing the battery at would have revitalized their phones. This makes some sense, but the lawsuits that have already been filed seem to be brushing aside one major aspect of lithium-ion batteries – that they deteriorate with age.
It seems Android users are more informed on this matter than iPhone users. It’s nothing unusual for Android devices to slow down or start having poor battery life when they grow old. This has happened for years to a point that it has become normal. It’s, in fact, used as an indicator that it’s about time you replaced your phone and not the battery because in most cases, even replacing the battery won’t suddenly bring back those peak performance levels you enjoyed when the device was still new (other parts of the phone also grow old and thus affecting the overall performance).
While Apple could have avoided all this by simply going public with their good intentions, it still doesn’t change anything about the fact that all phones, including iPhones, will slow down and start having poor battery life as they become older. With this in mind, it seems pretty much obvious that the current lawsuits are just petty ways of trying to mint money from Apple and even though the outcome remains to be seen, it’s likely that they’ll fail terribly.