OPINION: iPhone slowdown scandal highlights problem with Apple products

by | Jan 20, 2018 | Biz/Tech, Opinion

Sanzana Syed
Opinion Editor

Let’s get straight to the point. What’s up with Apple?

Their flimsy, rubber cords and older phone models that get slower as the years go by are my kryptonite. It’s also one of my biggest disappointments that pushed me into switching over from Android phones.
Score one for Android.

In December, Apple posted a letter apologizing to customers for the “misunderstanding” around the slower iPhones.

Many believe that it’s planned obsolescence, where the smartphone manufacturer is using software updates to slow down devices in order to influence customers to upgrade their phones.

Apple confirmed software updates do, in fact, slow down these models in an article posted on The Verge.

Apple said they aren’t slowing down older iPhones to encourage people to upgrade their phones, but rather, they’re addressing an issue with devices that contain older lithium-ion batteries, which results in shutdowns.

I’ve been an iPhone user for about a year and a half and I haven’t experienced any slow performances or shutdowns with my iPhone SE or 7. But I’m no stranger to the countless frayed and broken chargers I have sitting in a corner in my bedroom.

I remember when I was younger before I owned an iPhone, I had the iPod Touch. My parents would rage and bicker as to why I was so careless with my charger and refused to buy me another.

With good reason. They retail for $25 for a one-metre cable, $35 for two metres.

It brings me great satisfaction that I can put all the blame on Apple.

After scrolling through a BuzzFeed article seeing the countless photos of other users and their horror stories, it’s an on-going issue that remains and it hasn’t changed since they first launched in the mid-2000s.

Somehow Apple is able to update and change everything, except for the one thing that matters the most. But hey, Apple needs their time to release a new phone (or two) each year.

Look, I don’t mind paying $17 for a fancy charger on Amazon. Or a knock-off that costs way less somewhere else online.

It puzzles me how we’re in 2018 and this is still an issue for a lot of customers.

It’s probably a way to get people to buy more, giving customers products that seem to fray easily in order for them to routinely buy them over and over again.

Many customers pay for the brand itself. We love showing off that flashy Apple logo only to go home and stare angrily at the mangled-up battery cord.

In an article published by Version Daily, the chargers are made of rubber instead of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Basically, PVC is a very durable and long-lasting construction plastic.

“This rubberized jacket is lighter and more flexible than PVC jacket used by other manufacturers,” said Kristoffer Bonheur, the author of the article. “Users typically roll or wrap the cables too tight, thus bending and stressing them over time, especially near the ends, until they reach their breaking point.”

He also mentions this is common in all cables, but thinner sleeves make them more prone to damage.

If you’re reading this and own one of these cords, please do yourself a favour this year and splurge on one that doesn’t rip apart.