Apple slowing down old phones …..

slow Apple iphone
beware … old iphone crossing

There has been a lot of buzz around this, completely understandable. I was really astonished when I heard that “Apple admitted to slowing down old iPhones” …. and even more by hearing the alleged reason that Apple dared throwing around ! That is the most insane reason I have ever heard !

Don’t take me wrong.

I don’t want to enter the endless and useless battle between Apple lovers and the rest of the world, but here my Engineering mind has timed out.  I myself own iPhones, MacBooks, iPads (yes, all terms are plural). I repaired them A LOT OF TIMES (thanks, kids 🙁 ), changed screens, batteries and cameras, swapped parts around, etc …

As an Hardware Engineer, previous owner of a startup company designing “Made For iOS” (MFI) devices, I know very well the whole Apple Ecosystems and practices. Ever heard of the Apple Encryption coprocessor lying in each MFI device ? Or the Apple proprietary connector ?

As a Consumer, I also love the User Friendliness  of Apple devices … alhough Android is doing a great job here (OK, we said no battle 🙂 )

As a Parent of 3, I also know what it means to sustain the frantic rhythm of Apple models, incompatible chargers, screens, iTunes versions, etc …

As a Software Engineer, I also know very well the insidious tendency of encouraging developers to constantly upgrade to the latest SDK …. and also hated seeing pure nobs being considered as “computer experts” because they basically knew how to synchronize an iPhone …. (sounds familiar to you ? )

But I would say that, so far, these were quite “standard but annoying” practices and, after all, people kept on spending fortunes buying devices. However, the official Apple reason

to keep your phone operating and maintaining a good User Experience

has topped a new record. I also read a blog were an Engineer, after describing the chemical reaction occurring in a Li-Ion cell, then concluded that this move was a nice one, from an Engineering standpoint. Agree 100% to the engineering aspect, this is the beauty of OTA’s (Over The Air update) ….. but disagree 1000% as we are not in the Engineering school anymore, but on the real world with real customers.

OK, there are a couple of aspects here, to my opinion.

First, you are the Owner of the device, and you bought it with your own money ! Yes, don’t forget this, as Apple thinks differently. It is your own right to have the device repaired wherever your want, however you want and whenever you want ! Sounds obvious ? Well, remember the TouchID story last year. As the owner of my iPhone I might decide to repair it myself, at the price of a void warranty. That’s my business.

Second, as the Owner of the phone, I might also decide to keep it for a long time (in Apple language, that means more than 2 years 🙂 as a backup phone, or simply continue using it as is. Yes, the right to be old-fashioned … or simply poor.

Third, as the Owner of the phone, having spent hundreds of (thousands ?) dollars (same goes with Euros 🙂 ) I deserve a small email saying “Hey Mr. Customer, we know you (and we know your Credit Card nb  ) and we also know that you have an old’ish iPhone 6S 🙁 here is what’s need to be done so you continue having “a smooth user experience”, etc ….  Was that too much to expect ?

The problem with the last point is that, chances are most of the people would then had their battery replaced by a local technician, the performances would have recovered their expected level, end of the story. Instead, with this current stealth approach (if unnoticed …) people would get pissed off by their sluggish phone and would buy a new one, contributing  a little more to the environmental disaster and to Apple stock.

Maybe also those old-fashioned people would suddenly become “cool” again (till the next upgrade).

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