apple · battery · iphone

Apple Posts a Message to Customers about iPhone Batteries and CPU Slowdowns

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Today, Apple published a letter to customers to clear the air about older iPhones and battery performance. Starting with iOS 10.2.1, released about a year go, Apple quietly began “optimizing” iPhone performance on iPhone 6-series, 6S-series, and the iPhone SE to keep these iPhones running longer and avoid unexpected device shutdowns without warning. The problem is that Apple didn’t really tell anyone that this was going on, leading some people to point to this behavior as proof positive that Apple was underhandedly trying to encourage iPhone upgrades.

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.

I completely believe Apple when they talk about creating products that customers will love.  Slowing down the iPhone CPU to prolong the service life of an iPhone was not meant to be a malicious or user-hostile action against their customers.  I firmly believe that the exact opposite is true.  Apple made this change so customers could keep using their iPhones for multiple years without having to upgrade them.

While Apple still hasn’t specifically stated when this CPU slowdown to prolong daily usage starts, older iPhones that have chemically degraded batteries and are running under peak loads will be slowed down when iOS 10.2.1 or later is installed. Recently, with the release of iOS 11.2, Apple added iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus to the list of devices that can be slowed down when a degraded battery is detected.

The letter to customers, posted on Apple.com is an apology to customers for the sloppy handling of how this feature, which is meant to prolong iPhone service life — not shortening it, was communicated to customers. Which is to say, for the average customer, not at all. As a long time fan and Apple enthusiast, I’m saddened to see Apple having to publish a letter like this. I strongly denied the rumors and conspiracy theories that Apple was intentionally slowing down iPhones as a means to drive revenue generation. Since Apple’s admission that they are in fact slowing down iPhones is like a punch to the gut.

So, where do we, as iPhone users, go from here? In my opinion, Apple is trying to make things right for all of their customers. Frist, Apple is apologizing for the lack of communication on this subject. Second, Apple will release an iOS 11 update early in 2018, my guess is in iOS 11.2.5 currently in the beta stage, that will give users some level of visibility into their battery’s health so they can determine whether or not they will experience a CPU slowdown due to a chemically degraded battery. And, thirdly, Apple is reducing the cost of out of warrantee battery replacements to $29 from $79.

It is important to keep in mind that this is not an “Apple problem”. All Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries have this problem. To help Apple customers better understand the implications of the changes implemented in iOS 10.2.1 and 11.2, Apple has published a new knowlege base support article iPhone Battery and Performance.

I really wish Apple had been upfront about this particular feature with the release of iOS 10.2.1. It would have saved them from getting the proverbial black eye that they are dealing with now. Apple, unlike most Android smartphone vendors, truely care about the prolonging the useful life of an iPhone. They do this by providing frequent feature updates, security patches, and, yes, even trying to optimize performance on older hardware.

Overall, I am glad Apple is taking these steps to repair and improve their standing with there customers in light of these recent revelations.

battery · iphone 6 · iphone 6 plus · mophie

Mophie Announces Juice Pack Cases for Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus

Today, on the second day of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Mophie has announced the new Juice Pack Air and Juice Pack Plus.

Orange County, Calif., (January 6, 2015) – mophie—the #1 selling mobile battery case in North America(1), and innovator of power and storage solutions for mobile devices—announced today its lineup of protective battery cases for iPhone® 6 and iPhone® 6 Plus. Introducing the juice pack air® for iPhone® 6 (more than 100% extra battery), juice pack plus® for iPhone® 6 (more than 120% extra battery), and juice pack® for iPhone® 6 Plus (more than 60% extra battery).

Users get up to 17 more hours of talk time, up to 12 more hours of web browsing, up to 13 more hours of video playback, and up to 60 more hours of music playback.

“Our journey to bring the juice pack to consumers for every generation of iPhone continues with our latest solutions for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,” said Daniel Huang, mophie CEO and Co-Founder. “Since release of the original juice pack for the first iPhone, mophie battery cases have become a necessity to legions of smartphone users. Because we understand how vital these solutions are, our team remains intensely focused on quality and the level of innovative design needed to drive the direction of this industry.”

I’ve been a fan of the Mophie Juice Pack series of batteries since I picked up an iPhone 4S.  The Mophie cases add a lot of utility to your iPhone by adding a spare battery and doing double duty as a durable, handsome looking iPhone case that doesn’t add a lot of bulk.  I’ve been on many an overnight and long weekend trips with my kids and the Juice Pack has kept me charged up and connected to family back home and other team leaders on the trip.

Any serious iPhone user really needs to have one of these cases.  If you have more than one iDevice that you need to keep charged – say an iPhone 6 and an iPad Air, then I would highly recommend one of Mophie’s PowerStation “universal” batteries.

The new Juice Pack cases for the Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are expected to begin shipping in about three to four weeks.  You can pre-order your Juice Pack now with prices starting at $99.95 for the iPhone 6 and for the iPhone 6 Plus.

The full press release is available on the Mophie website.