Apple Is Slowing Down Old Phones

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Apple marketing executive Phil Schiller discussing the latest iPhone at an Apple press conference (Photo: Jim Wilson - New York Times)
Apple marketing executive Phil Schiller discussing the latest iPhone at an Apple press conference (Photo: Jim Wilson - New York Times)

Consumers have long “suspected Apple of a nefarious plot”, according to New York Times reporter Niraj Chokshi. “The company, they said, was slowing down their older iPhones to get them to buy new ones. Now, many of them feel vindicated.” This may mean that Apple wants their consumers to buy their new iPhones.

I wrote this article because I know that many students in the middle school have iPhones and that they will have different opinions about this.

Apple admitted to the practice and apologized for the lack of transparency on this issue in late December. According to Apple, the iPhone’s operating system “dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components” to reduce damage to the device’s battery as it ages. In response to the controversy, Apple began offering replacement iPhone batteries for $29, saying that this would restore device performance.

My teacher, Mrs. Brennan (she is also known as Ms. Bernstein, an 8th grade teacher) thinks that slowing old iPhones is not a good business decision. She said, “Although I do not like when my phone decides to slow down and not work properly, I understand Apple’s decision. People who love Apple products, like myself, are more likely to go and purchase the newest, more expensive, edition of the iPhone.

Noah Glickman, who is an 8th grader, thinks that it is a bad business decision for their consumers. He said, “Bad business decision. Sales might go down.”

John Rasizzi, who is another 8th grader, thinks that slowing down old iPhones is a good business decision. He said, “I think it is good for business because Apple can get a big profit from people who are willing to waste money.

If Apple is slowing down devices out of a sheer desire for planned obsolescence, they haven’t admitted it yet. “If Apple explicitly said that they injected code into older iPhones to slow them down because new ones came out,” Chokshi said, “that would be admission. All it is admitting to now is trying to keep the old iPhones running for longer.”

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