Dialogues #1: Apple Slowing Down Phones

Hi everyone! This is the first post of a new series that Youth Are Awesome is doing, called “Dialogues”. Every month, we will post a short blog post about a controversial topic that occurred in the previous month, and we’ll have an open discussion/debate in the comments section of this post! Without any further ado, we’ll get right into this month’s Dialogues post: Apple Slowing Down Phones!

The Issue

Apple, Inc. is a world-renowned technology giant, credited with the creation of many consumer products such as the Mac, the iPad, and the topic of this article, the iPhone. iPhones take up over 40% of the market share of all phones in the United States, and Apple is the largest company on the stock market by market capitalization largely due to the iPhone’s commercial success. As such, when the shocking revelation that Apple was slowing down older phones on purpose was exposed to the public, there was immediate backlash and discussion.

In late December, Apple announced that a recent software update had been implemented for slightly older phones. They said that they were slowing down older phones because as the lithium ion batteries age, it becomes harder for them to keep up with the processing speeds of modern applications. Sometimes this incapacity of the batteries causes them to shut down unexpectedly during operation. In order to address this, Apple released the update to slow down older phones to prevent these spontaneous shutdowns. The backlash was immediate, with many displeased with Apple’s actions. So far, multiple lawsuits in 3 different countries have been filed against Apple for this reason, and Apple has been forced to apologize and offer replacement batteries at a lower price. Recently, the federal government even launched a probe to investigate Apple for this reason.

The Two Sides

One major perspective on this issue is the one presented by Apple, that they are protecting the batteries and devices of their consumers. They claim that battery shutdowns and overheats could prove dangerous for the user and the device, and that the responsible choice was to slow down the phones.

The other major perspective is the one that is represented by the public outcry against Apple’s actions. People have long heard rumours about how Apple purposely slows down phones to force users to upgrade to new phones and buy more of Apple’s products, and now some people see the latest software update as proof that Apple is attempting to increase their own profits in an unfair way to the consumer. Apple denies these allegations, saying that they would never try to shorten the product lifespan of any iPhone.

So what’s your opinion? Feel free to comment below. Please keep all comments appropriate and respectful.

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1 Comment

  • Apple is a company dedicated to creating new technology and profiting money. They’ve said their iPhones were not built to last over two years and I respect their business stance. Even if the public disagrees with their tactics, they work and as a company, this strategy has worked for years now. Since Apple comes out with new iPhones each year, people are investing in new technology to advance further into the future and I this is smart. However, not everyone can afford a new phone every two years and I understand that. It’s not like Apple is forcing you to buy their brand specifically and when your phone’s lifespan runs out you have the option of renewing for a new iPhone or buy from a different brand. It gives people the opportunity to try something different or stay with the company.

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