After much controversy surrounding the recent confirmation that the Apple company has been throttling data speeds of older iPhone models through regular system updates at least since 2016, the company has just confirmed that the iOS 11.3 update will contain a feature allowing users to opt out of that throttling going forward.
The Verge reports on this, noting that the current beta release of the 11.3 update (out now) does not yet contain this feature, though the planned full release later in spring will include it. According to the latest information released by the company, the update’s feature will be a simple switch to toggle on and off that will let users opt out of having their performance throttled as their phone ages. It is also supposedly going to allow users to have a more detailed look at their battery performance data overall.
This is only the latest in Apple’s attempts to win back customer favor after the news that the company, after much accusation and speculation by people over the years, has been slowing performance of old technology after it reaches a certain age. The company claims that this feature has only been active since iOS 10.2.1 and was not utilized for nefarious means, only to help older batteries work better by managing their performance to prevent “unexpected shutdowns”.
Despite this, many were not keen to take what was said at face value. Rather, consumers accused the company of “planned obsolescence”, a tactic used by some technology manufacturers to force customers to discontinue using functioning electronics in favor of buying new ones by making it increasingly difficult to repair them when they break.
While allegedly done with the best intentions, the fact this feature was utilized by Apple for so long without it officially being announced and the reality of the situation at hand (that people will likely buy a new phone if their old one stops performing properly), buyers are more suspicious than ever of the tech giant.
In addition to a public apology, the company has also lowered the cost of exchanging batteries on iPhones to $29, the battery’s performance being the reason Apple claims to throttle phones in the first place. Due to that, any slowdowns in performance should come to an end once the new battery has been installed.
Whether this will be enough to win back consumers remains to be seen. A full preview of what iOS 11.3 will include can be found on Apple’s website.