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Apple faces criticism over battery-saving tactics

03 January 2018 - 10:40 by Graham Miller

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In-depth analysis by benchmarking site, Geekbench, revealed last month that Apple is actively reducing the speed of its older handsets via software updates, raising questions about its motives and likely leading to more people selling their old phones and upgrading rather than sticking with the same handset.

The US firm quickly admitted that the iPhone 6S was indeed being throttled, but claimed that this was not as a result of an underhanded attempt to force customers to buy a newer model, according to the Inquirer. Instead, this move is being claimed as a means of improving battery life on last-gen devices which might otherwise be less well optimised when the latest iOS iteration is rolled out.

Several lawsuits were filed as a result of this admission, with Apple offering to replace customers’ batteries at a reduced rate in order to appease people who felt cheated in the aftermath.

For British iPhone users, this means it will cost just £25 to get a new battery for any iPhone released from 2014 onwards.

This is actually good news as it will mean that second hand devices can also benefit from improved processor and battery performance. So recycling an iPhone makes even more sense, as the used market will be boosted in the wake of this decision.

Apple has also chosen to endow iOS with new capabilities to help provide updates on how well a battery is performing over time. This will let users know if issues arise and give them a better idea if a replacement is required.

Whatever the truth of the matter, this is certainly a sign that tech firms can be held accountable for decisions they make which might not be seen as especially consumer-friendly, or indeed appropriate from an ecological point of view.