| Cult of Mac

UK lawsuit dredges up 2017’s ‘Batterygate’ controversy

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Apple iPhone 6s
A UK lawsuit intends to stop Apple from doing something it already promised five years ago it would never do again.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

A UK consumer rights advocate filed a £750m claim accusing Apple of slowing down handsets as old as the iPhone 6. This is over “Batterygate,” a controversy that first erupted way back in 2017 and has long since been settled in the U.S. and other countries.

Even so, a bad decision from five years ago has come back to haunt the company.

Batterygate strikes again: Consumer group sues Apple over planned obsolescence

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iPhone camera
Batterygate issue has been raging for a few years now.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Italian consumer association Altroconsumo launched a massive class-action lawsuit against Apple on Monday, seeking 60 million euros ($73 million) for the alleged planned obsolescence of iPhones.

Specifically, the suit mentions the iPhone 6 and 6s generation of devices. Apple used a software update to slow down these phones’ performance, resulting in the “Batterygate” controversy.

“Planned obsolescence is a deliberate unfair practice to consumers that causes frustration and financial harm,” Els Bruggerman, head of policy and enforcement for consumer right’s group Euroconsumers, told Cult of Mac. (Altroconsumo is a part of Euroconsumers.) “In November 2020, Apple ​announced that it will pay $113 million to settle allegations that it slowed down iPhones to mask battery issues. That settlement clearly demonstrates that Apple resorted to planned obsolescence as a deliberate attempt to increase renewal of phone, hide issues and deceive consumers.”

Apple says it slowed down the iPhones to preserve battery life and avoid crashes of older devices. Between 2014 and 2020, Apple sold approximately 1 million of iPhone 6 and 6s models in Italy alone.

‘Batterygate’ rumbles on as European class-action suit demands damages

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iphone
Issue affected older iPhones.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Blame an iOS update if you’d like, but Apple’s iPhone speed-throttling saga continues to progress slowly. The latest update is legal action being leveled at Apple in Europe in the form of a class-action lawsuit for iPhone 6 and 6s series devices sold in Belgium, Spain, Italy and Portugal.

The advocacy group behind the suit, Euroconsumers, said Wednesday that it is bringing a case to cover up to 2 million handsets that fall under this category. “Consumers are increasingly upset by products wearing out too quickly, the iPhone 6 models being a very concrete example of that,” Els Bruggeman, head of policy and enforcement at Euroconsumers, said in a statement.

Apple settles multistate ‘Batterygate’ investigation for $113 million

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iPhone batteries
Batterygate is long over, but Apple is still dealing with the repercussions of a severe lapse in judgement.
Photo: iFixIt

Apple came to a settlement with a group of U.S. state attorneys general over 2017’s “Batterygate.” The iPhone-maker will pay $113 million spread around 30 states to end the investigation.

This comes closer to ending Apple’s problems resulting from not telling customers it was throttling the performance of older iPhones to prevent the devices from unexpectedly shutting down.

States push on with probe into Apple’s iPhone throttling

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iPhone battery
The news of “Batterygate” broke in 2017, but some states are supposedly still investigating.
Photo: iFixit

The Attorney General of Arizona is reportedly looking into Apple’s practice of slowing down the performance of older iPhones to preserve battery life.

Apple admitted it was doing this back in 2017, and gave users control of if and when it happens. But the investigation by the Arizona AG goes on.

How to get your $25 ‘Batterygate’ settlement from Apple

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iPhone
Did you own an iPhone throttled by Apple? If so, you could get a $25 check.
Photo: andri333/Pixabay CC

If you owned an iPhone that took a performance hit after a controversial iOS update, Apple might owe you $25. The payments follow Apple’s settlement of a class-action lawsuit over “Batterygate.”

However, to get your check, your claim must be received by October 6, 2020. Find out how to apply for a Batterygate payment, and exactly what you need to qualify, below.

Real-world tests show benefits of iPhone 6s with the ‘good’ chip

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iPhone 6s teardown
Pegatron will team up with an Indonesian manufacturer..
Photo: iFixit

iPhone 6s units with a TSMC A9 processor score two hours’ better battery life over those with Samsung chips in GeekBench test scores, but real-world gains of the “good” chip might be much less significant.

Several YouTubers have put the iPhone 6s TSMC and Samsung A9 chips to the test in real-world scenarios to get to the truth of Chipgate — and what they discovered was quite surprising.

Stay calm and carry an iPhone: Why Bendgate will blow over

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iPhone 6 Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
When it comes to Apple, "Bendgate" is just another snafu borne of high expectations. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Bendgate is the latest in a long line of minor Apple problems that get blown out of proportion by the Internet’s echo chamber and the media jackals that inevitably swoop in and howl about the latest “crisis.”

The same sort of over-the-top backlash happened with the iPhone 4’s reception issue (Antennagate) and the iPad’s trickle-charge feature (Batterygate). It’s a familiar cycle: Apple’s fantastic new device captures the world’s attention, a glitch arises and suddenly the world is coming to an end — at least until it’s not.

“Apple’s ability to trigger consumer demand is probably without rival across the globe — that’s no small feat,” says Larry Barton, a pioneer in corporate crisis management who studies the causes of and responses to incidents like these. “Their core, loyal customer has proven to be forgiving across several minor incidents, and Bendgate is just that — a relatively minor snafu that’s not uncommon with a first-generation design.”

Why Your New iPad Charges Past 100%… And Why Every Other Gadget Does Too [Feature]

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ipadcharging
Technically, this is the most your new iPad's battery should ever be charged.

Last week, Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies discovered that when he charged his new iPad, it continued to draw current long after iOS reported its lithium-ion polymer battery as being 100% charged.

Doing some experiments, Dr. Soneira discovered that if allowed to charge until the point where the 10W charger stopped drawing full current from the mains, his iPad could last 11.6 hours on a single charge, compared to just 10.4 hours if he unplugged it the second it reached 100%.

Why does the new iPad do this? Dr. Soneira believes that it’s a bug in the way the new iPad reports its battery charge. Apple has since spoken out and called it a “great feature” in iOS. But what the heck is really going on?

The truth is more complicated. Apple’s being disingenuous calling this a “feature” of iOS. In fact, technically it harms your new iPad’s battery. That said, it’s certainly not a bug, as Dr. Soneira emphatically suggests. Rather, this is the way all gadget batteries charge. To understand why this is, and how you can maximize your device’s battery life and longevity, you first need to understand a little bit about how batteries charge.