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Chinese demand an investigation into iPhone throttling

by on16 January 2018

This is getting worse

Apple’s worse nightmare is that the Chinese government might take steps to interfere with its flagging sales behind the bamboo curtain, but it is starting to look like its phone throttling antics might create a perfect storm.

Apple is already suffering from falling iPhone sales in China due to its high price and the fact that Chinese punters are a lot shrewder than Westerners when it comes to electronic purchases.

But now Apple’s move to throttle the power of the phone without telling users has raised the eyebrow of the powerful Chinese Shanghai Consumer Council.

The Council has asked Apple for information about the slowing of older iPhones after operating system updates. It is not being polite about it either – it wants a reply before Friday.

The query from the Shanghai Consumer Council came in response to consumer feedback that old iPhones became sluggish after upgrading the software to iOS 10.2.1, it said.

In a letter to Apple, the council demanded an explanation for the slow-down and information about what Apple planned to do to rectify the problem.

Apple acknowledged in December that it was throttling older phones for the good of customers who had older batteries. The fact it didn’t tell anyone that it was doing this had nothing to do with encouraging users to upgrade to new models. No, not at all, Apple would never do that, never, no way.

It also cut battery replacement costs and said it would change its software to show users whether their phone batteries were working well. However, it only did that in American and the UK and not China.

The Shanghai Consumer Council, a non-government organization approved by the Chinese authorities, generally it is not impressed with the way Jobs’ Mob treats its customers. In 2017 it had to deal with 2,615 complaints about Apple products and services compared with 964 complaints in 2015.

An investigation into Apple will lower customer confidence in China and rather than seeing the iPhone cash cow saved by Chinese sales, Apple could see itself having to pay out a lot of money for sales it has already made.  Apple has been spending a lot of money to keep the Chinese authorities happy and it really did not need this.

Last modified on 16 January 2018
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