Smartphones have radically changed the way we live. They have affected how we consume information, communicate, behave and use technology. Most of us use their smartphone every day. A study released by Deloitte found that Americans collectively check their smartphones upwards of 8 billion times per day! The facts prove that we’re obsessed with our phones. The most aggressive smartphone users click, tap or swipe on their phone 5,427 times a day, according to researcher Dscout. That includes the top 10 percent of phone users, so perhaps it sounds excessive. However, turns out the rest of us still touch our phones 2,617 times a day on average. Can you say, addictive?! We use these controlling little tech monsters to surf the internet and social media platforms, check email, manage calendars, listen to music, play games, watch videos, take photos, read the news and write text messages. Sometimes we even use them for their original purpose, to make phone calls. Imagine that;)
Since we clearly depend on our smartphones for so many various aspects of our lives, what happens when these helpful devices turn into headaches? Many of us have experienced a love/hate relationship with our smartphones at one time or another. Technology is our best friend and worst enemy. It can skyrocket our productivity, amusement and communication. But when it’s malfunctioning or not working properly, technology turns into a frustrating, aggravating, time and energy suck.
Some common smartphone issues that can make someone see red include: running slowly, battery problems, crashes, synching troubles, overheating/freezing temps, software bugs and of course the recent iPhone glitch that automatically corrects the lower-case letter “i” to “A” and a question mark symbol. What the heck?
There are quite a few smartphone choices on the market but Apple and the iPhone continue to hold it down in the market. According to Statista, there will be a projected 222.9 million smartphone users in the United States in 2017 and Apple looks to hold on to its considerable market share with over 90 million of users estimated to own an iPhone in 2016. Due to Apple’s worldwide domination and the recent headlines, we’re taking a deeper look at some of the legalities surrounding the iPhone. Consumers have retaliated against the slooooooow iPhone because who wants to deal with a pain in the neck, slow, malfunctioning phone? We all have Instagram posts to attend to, Facebook stories to share, tweets to tweet, and maybe even a few work emails to respond to or a long overdue call back to our parents to get after.
Back in December 2017, Apple admitted that its recent software updates deliberately slowed down the performance of old iPhones. The reason, Apple says, was to prevent “unexpected shutdowns” that old phones with weaker batteries might otherwise occasionally suffer. Basically, Apple said that it has algorithms in place to help keep an iPhone running at optimal performance if there is an older battery inside that can’t keep up with the required power.
When the news got out, Apple quickly apologized for the slowdown and offered its customers discounted replacement batteries. “We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize,” said the message. To further attempt to make amends, Apple will temporarily drop the price of replacement batteries for the iPhone 6 and later to $29 starting in late January. The price will go back up to the usual $79 in 2019. But many consumers were not satisfied, and within hours class actions had been filed against Apple. Apple now faces over 45 lawsuits that either accuse the company of intentionally slowing down older iPhones, or at least of failing to disclose power management changes it made starting in iOS 10.2.1. The lawsuits include 24 class action complaints in the United States. One of the class actions asks for almost $1 trillion in damages from Apple. Take a bite out of that juicy apple!
Did Apple violate any law, or breach its contract with consumers? A smartphone, like any other technological device, will slow down as it ages. But is it legal for the smartphone’s manufacturer to purposefully slow a phone down?
According to Forbes, the language of the contract to which consumers click “I Agree” when installing the iPhone’s updated software is vague, but it seems to give Apple wide authority to incorporate any functionality feature. The contract—17 pages of legal language—announces that Apple “does not warrant against interference with your enjoyment of the iOS software