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10 January 2018

Apple: Slowing Down Software - Time to Act?

Everyone knows that in the world of tech, nothing lasts forever (especially nothing over the 2 year guarantee period!).  Some people have suspected that it was deliberate, part of a consumerist marketing strategy which is aimed at ensuring people have to upgrade their devices constantly and to guarantee that the profits are still generated for the big tech corps on a regular and never-ending basis.

But no one ever had any proof. Until now. As a result of several group actions in the United States brought by customers of Apple alleging the deliberate slowing down of software in relation to older models of Apple products, the company has now posted on their own website an apology for their actions. 

They have indicated that they are to issue new software to allow customers to monitor their battery health and to reduce the price of an out of warranty battery for users of an iPhone6 or later model.

Is this too little, too late? Only time will tell.

But the cynics amongst us may think that Apple have only decided to act as they presently face several multi-million dollar lawsuits in the United States and similar actions in Israel and France.  The fear of paying out millions in damages and further damaging material coming out of the legal process may, some people may think, had been the real reason for their change of position.

It is perhaps interesting to note that in this age of the big tech corporations and big data, the best redress consumers/citizens still have is recourse to the courts to ensure their rights are protected. It’s been the same for centuries and long may it continue. 

The key question for people in the U.K., however, is  – how does this impact upon ourselves? Does the fact that Apple are introducing cheaper batteries solve the problem? Well, not really.

People need to think how much they have spent upgrading mobile phones that they were happy with simply because they slowed down or stopped working for no good reason; the loss of information or contacts from phones they upgraded and which caused them loss and inconvenience and the expense they have gone to buying new batteries and chargers in an attempt to maintain the use of their phones.

All these issues of expense and inconvenience needs to be addressed. What is the best way to do that?

One answer is simply by starting to do what others are doing in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Get together and fight for your rights to be protected and to stop being viewed simply as a never-ending source of profit for the big tech corps. Is it time even in the U.K. for people to fight back and assert their rights?


Ian Whitehurst
31st December 2017

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