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Though many of us suspected Apple was doing something fishy with our iPhones in terms of performance through update cycles, Daily Mail reports it was 17-year-old Tyler Barney's findings that launched multiple lawsuits and forced the company to issue an official apology to its customers.
Barney, a high school student in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, realized the performance of his iPhone 6s had deteriorated. The teen did some research and posted his findings on Reddit, where the post blew up, the Tennessean reported. Barney wrote the following concerning his iPhone's battery-related performance issues:
"My iPhone 6S has been very slow these past few weeks, and even after updating multiple times, it was still slow. Couldn’t figure out why, but just thought that iOS 11 was still awful to me. Then I used my brother’s iPhone 6 Plus and his was... faster than mine? This is when I knew something was wrong. So, I did some research, and decided to replace my battery. Wear level was somewhere around 20% on my old battery. I did a Geekbench score, and found I was getting 1466 Single and 2512 Multi. This did not change wether I had low power mode on or off. After changing my battery, I did another test to check if it was just a placebo. Nope. 2526 Single and 4456 Multi. From what I can tell, Apple slows down phones when their battery gets too low, so you can still have a full days charge. This also means your phone might be very slow for no discernible reason."
The post quickly gained traction online, with multiple articles being written on the subject. Apple, in damage control mode, released a statement via The Verge in which the tech giant essentially admitted to slowing down people's iPhone's through updates. And in shorter time than it would take for you to update your phone so it could be slowed down, the lawsuits came piling in.
Apple then released another statement explaining why the phones were slowed down. The company also apologized for the inconvenience by offering a $50 discount on replacement batteries.
"We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making," Apple wrote. "First and foremost, we have never—and would never—do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that."
Regardless of the apology, discount, and explanation, people still seem to be pretty mad.