After a wave of mounting criticism, lawsuits, and PR statements, Tim Cook has announced that users will now have the choice to disable its battery management software on older devices.
The update which was included as part of iOS 11 resulted in many older iPhones performing poorly, leading many users to believe that the company was intentionally throttling their devices to get them to upgrade. After much online controversy, Apple finally admitted that the update was indeed included to help prevent phones with bad batteries from randomly shutting down.
They stated in previous releases that older phones may randomly shut down well before reaching minimum battery life because of sudden spikes in power consumption. The software they included was intended to help smooth out these spikes, but it came at the price of hindering performance. Unfortunately some users with relatively good phone batteries also suffered and called on Apple for a proper explanation.
After major press blow back and threats of lawsuits, the company eventually allowed anyone with older devices to swap out their batteries for newer ones, regardless of whether the batteries were still in good order or not. The price tag for the replacement was also dropped from $79 to $29.
In an ABC interview, Tim Cook now says that a later update will now allow users to disable the feature entirely, but at the cost of users’ phones potentially shutting down randomly. He said:
We will tell somebody we’re slightly reducing, or we’re reducing your performance by some amount in order to not have an unexpected restart. If you don’t want it? You can turn it off. Now, we don’t recommend it, because we think people’s iPhones are really important to them, and you never can tell when something is so urgent…