Demand Transparency: Why Does Apple Intentionally Slow Down Older iPhones?

Target: Tim Cook, Apple CEO

Goal: Ensure that consumers are fully informed about company practices that alter the way they are able to use Apple products and the amount of money they must spend.

Apple acknowledged that it purposely slows down the operating systems of older iPhones without customer knowledge or consent. The company says that this helps extend battery life, because as batteries get older they do not hold their charge as well. The announcement was met with huge public backlash, indicating that Apple should have been more upfront about these procedures, as many consumers felt deceived and taken advantage of.

In a letter addressed to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, Republican Senator John Thune has demanded answers regarding these issues. Among other questions, Thune asks whether Apple offered a chance for its customers to decline these updates to the operating system that choke processing speed for older models. He also inquires in the letter as to why the company did not offer free battery replacements following the backlash—but instead decided to offer a discounted replacement at $29—and whether customers who had already paid full price for battery replacement would be offered a rebate. Thune writes, “The large volume of consumer criticism leveled against the company in light of its admission suggests that there should have been better transparency with respect to these practices.”

Sign below to demand that Apple begin to enact that transparency now, by answering these questions publicly and offering consumers better choices in the future.


Dear CEO Cook,

Customers have a right to know what kind of service they are paying for, and not to have the quality of that service intentionally changed if they are unaware and have not given consent. Apple’s practice of purposely slowing down processing for older iPhone models is deceitful and takes advantage of consumers. As Senator John Thune states in the letter he addressed to you, the large amount of consumer criticism in response to this issue is indicative “that there should have been better transparency” on the part of your company.

That transparency must begin now. Apple has a responsibility to be forthright with its customers, in the form of answers to their questions with respect to these practices as well as being upfront about consumer options in the future (for instance, by giving customers the choice to throttle a phone’s processing to conserve an old battery or not). I urge you to fully answer all of the questions brought forth in Senator Thune’s letter, and to ensure Apple’s increased transparency moving forward.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Yutaka Tsutano

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One Comment

  1. gen agustsson says:

    recycle apple devices

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