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The truth of the matter is that abstraction is at the core of computer science. Even most developers don’t want to know the details of an API. They just want to use the libraries. Indeed, object-oriented programming is all about abstraction — hiding the details from the developer. Most developers don’t even know how to write an SQL query anymore. That’s been abstracted away by ORM technologies. It’s quite reasonable for Apple to assume that their end users don’t want to know the minutiae of iOS, because even most app developers don’t want (or need) to know these details. Most iPhone customers are not interested in data structures, design patterns, exception handling or anything of the sort. They’re more interested in iMessages and Animojis. It would appear that most tech journalists feel the same way. They’re not interested in the details of technology either. They just hum a few bars and fake it.
Going back to our primary source, Apple claims that they initially believed that slow performance was due to the iOS 11 update. This confirms what I have noticed for years. After a major iOS upgrade, your device will run slower for hours or even days. They didn’t mention why, but it seems to be due to post-upgrade processing. Spotlight needs to re-index your iPhone for faster search performance. iCloud is often doing some housekeeping, which eats up network bandwidth and processor cycles. They also admit that defects in a new, major version of iOS could cause performance issues.
It took a few months and interaction with customers to realize that older iPhone 6 devices were experiencing battery failures. After all, this phone launched in 2014! I still use my iPhone 6, just like millions of iPhone users. Everyone I know who has a non-Apple smartphone has to replace their device every 2 years (or less), because of battery issues and being cut off from operating system updates. For most smartphones, failing batteries are never a problem. The devices end up in landfills within 2 years. I also still have and use my iPhone 4. It is 7 years old and still has the original battery. I charge it about once every 2 weeks. The fact that people are getting upset and even suing Apple, for doing the right thing, actually makes me angry. I am in the odd position of defending the largest corporation on the planet.
Slowing Down iPhones with Chemically Aged Batteries is a Good Thing
Apple’s message to customers about the battery issue makes the emphatic statement that Apple does not engage in planned obsolescence. Having owned Apple products for 15 years, I have found this to be true. I still have an iPod Classic that’s 15 years old. It has been subjected to extreme temperatures, has the original battery, and it still “just works”. In fact, I have yet to throw out any Apple product I have purchased in the last 15 years. I can say, with confidence, that Apple does not trick users into buying a new device. They do not sabotage iPhones, hoping that users will upgrade. Instead, they try to build brand loyalty. They have definitely earned mine!
The most important question you need to consider is — would you rather have a smartphone that slows down or shuts down as the battery ages? If you want the latter, good news, there are plenty of smartphones that will shut down unexpectedly as the battery fails. For those who want to keep their smartphone for three or more years, the iPhone is pretty much the only option. There is no conspiracy here. This is all about Apple doing the right thing in order to build brand loyalty.