I am a former Apple employee, I was there for the launch of the iPhone 4, 4s, 5, the iPad 1&2 and a few other devices. I believe the grumblings of iPhones becoming slower after updates first started around the launch of the iPhone 5, at least that’s when I first really started to hear about it. Ironically this was apparently the last device Steve Jobs ever had a hand in. I bring this point up because we all know that innovation was at the forefront of the Steve Jobs led Apple, and since he passed, those attributes he took along with him.
Since Steve has left, Apple hasn’t been as innovative, and instead wait a few years after someone else has created a feature for them to take it and make it better. Taking a step back and looking at the news breaking this week of Apple throttling performance of older iPhones and confirming a long time suspicion, for me, I am simply not surprised.
The way I see it, Steve jobs sold people on iPhones because it was always the biggest thing, the most innovative, the slogan at Apple is “Enriching peoples lives.” I kid you not, that was Steve’s whole mantra. Does Apple feel like they can sell new iPhones based off of innovation? Clearly not!
They are now practising what the industry has dubbed “planned obsolescence”. This is the act of making a product defunct well and before its time. Apple is currently blaming this on battery degradation, and the idea that after a year, the battery degrades so much that we now need to throttle your performance through software upgrades so that it extends the life of your battery.
Now coming from Canada, I have a completely different view of mobile than the Caribbean consumer but I can also break things down in a different way because of my experiences. This news hurts the Caribbean consumers much much more than consumers who live in a country with an Apple store ever will.
Here is how. When you live in a country with an Apple store, and you buy into the Apple ecosystem, a big part of the reason Apple products are overpriced is that you are buying into the Apple BRAND. That brand allows for the BEST warranty of any manufacturer, they have instore 1on1 tutorials, workshops, technicians in-store, they are now teaching photography, coding, app development and much more.
When you factor all of those things in, Apple products are not overpriced. Here in the Caribbean where we have ABSOLUTELY none of that (sorry iWorld, it’s true), and higher prices for Apple products, those same products are severely overpriced. Now that Apple is throttling your devices and you cannot simply take a 5min drive to your local Apple store to change the battery at no charge or have a Genius (technician) take a look at your device. This hurts for us out here in the Caribbean.
Now, I know most people who are engulfed in the Apple eco-system will still buy iPhones but just upgrade as soon as the new one comes out to avoid Apple slowing down your older phones. But that is the point and the problem. Not everyone can or wants to be forced to upgrade their phone, especially not when you have a perfectly good working iPhone 7plus working wonders for you.
All that being said, this is a big blow to Apple brand but we will have to keep an eye out if this actually affects them in any way. So let me know if you are out here in the islands, will you still grab an iPhone now that you are fully aware they throttle their devices and for the premium prices we pay for them out here?