~ EDITORIAL ON APPLE’S CONSUMER FRAUD ~
I have owned Apple products since 1984. Although the original computers are not used anymore, I have at least two Macintosh computers — as they used to be called — that still boot. I had a laser printer, the LaserWriter, manufactured by Apple that worked for over 10 years. I was a 100% loyal Apple Macintosh customer.
I thoroughly trusted Apple’s efforts — or former CEO and Founder Steve Job’s (RIP) efforts — in perfecting the human/machine interface, which is one of the main reasons for the success of Apple’s customer experience.
In the late 1990’s, as an exercise physiologist and Sports Medicine Director at an orthopedic medical practice in Arlington Heights, I faced a roar of laughter by four of five orthopedic surgeons and the medical office manager when I said Apple would be a number one stock investment someday at their monthly board meeting.
In 2006, I was on my own as a personal trainer, and working to build ArlingtonCardinal.com and its ad revenue. The Sports Medicine Director job had been eliminated after one of those orthopedic surgeons was sued for an alleged botched surgery at Northwest Community Hospital, and the orthopedic practice could no longer afford my salary because of their skyrocketing malpractice insurance premiums. I eventually needed some regular additional steady income, and I decided to seek employment at the Apple Store at Woodfield Mall.
In a job interview, I was disgusted by what I learned about Apple.
After I waited inside the Apple Store, I met my job interviewer and discussed the job with him on a bench close to the Cinnabon Bakery store. The unfriendly interviewer introduced himself with a smirk, and he asked if I wouldn’t mind meeting out in the common mall area. The interview instantly progressed to an awkward, discouraging interview, which lacked any recognition of the expertise (mentioned in a resume) I had gained from using Apple Macintosh products and helping hundreds of other people use Apple Macintosh for over 20 years. I expected to be acknowledged for my experience with Macs, but instead I was probed for my potential for Apple brainwashing — and more specifically my willingness to forward dishonest Apple dogma to customers. I was interviewing for a sales position, but the interview was focused on how well I could be manipulated by Apple to create a facade for customers. I was specifically asked what I would do if a customer would come into the store and was extremely upset by a failure of an Apple product. I realized they were looking for an Apple “soldier” who would be willing to convince the unhappy customer their junked out product was retired gold, instead of actually helping the customer. Of course, the solution would be a new Apple product. The interviewer told me Apple was looking for an employee that is willing to convince the customer that the problem was not Apple’s fault. They were looking for an employee who had a talent for mind-bending magic to persuade an unsatisfied customer to “Think Different” about their unfortunate predicament with a failed Apple product. It seemed odd that this was the primary focus of the interview, and it must have been an issue with Apple.
Now we have the current BatteryGate situation, and Apple attempts at mind manipulation have reached the corporate level with a link to their battery message on the front page of their website. Apple’s current “apology” (attached below) shows Apple is still up to their same old tricks. The key evidence? This sentence extracted: “We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down.” Translated: “You think we let you down, but you’re are wrong.”
… and this sentence extracted … “A chemically aged battery also becomes less capable of delivering peak energy loads, especially in a low state of charge, which may result in a device unexpectedly shutting itself down in some situations.” …
SHOULD SAY (edits capitalized) …
“A chemically aged battery also becomes less capable of delivering peak energy loads, especially in a low state of charge, which OFTEN result in a device unexpectedly shutting itself down in MANY situations. THE BATTERY WE SUPPLIED IS DEFICIENT AND BECAME CHEMICALLY AGED MUCH SOONER THAN IT SHOULD HAVE. WE ALSO APOLOGIZE FOR NOT MATCHING A BATTERY THAT COULD HANDLE THE POWER DEMANDS OF APPLE IPHONE FEATURES. WE APOLOGIZE FOR RELEASING THIS COMBINATION OF BATTERY AND IPHONE PRODUCT WHEN WE KNEW THIS SITUATION WOULD ARISE. WE ALSO APOLOGIZE FOR NOT DESIGNING THE IPHONE SO THAT THE BATTERY COULD BE SIMPLY USER REPLACEABLE, CONSIDERING THE FACT THAT DIFFERENT TYPE OF CUSTOMER USE IN DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS WOULD CAUSE A VARIETY OF DEGREES OF BATTERY FAILURES.
Notice that Apple isn’t admitting any guilt. They’re not admitting that they knew this was a problem. Apple wants customers to think that the customers have been foolish for misunderstanding that batteries chemically age, and battery failure is expected. The smoke and mirrors Apple utilizes intends to divert customers from realizing that Apple knew about this battery shortcoming all along — in the design phase, and during product rollout, and after product rollout.
To add insult to injury, Apple is still charging $29 for the replacement of a battery that failed much before its expected lifetime. Since the iPhone product isn’t designed for simple user-replacement, customers have to waste additional time an energy to have a technician install their battery.
Here’s what their apology letter should have included.
1) We’re sorry some of you took pictures or videos which caused immediate shut down of your Apple iPhone even though the battery indicator showed you had 21% to 30% or more battery power remaining. [Yes, before the secret new SLOWDOWN “feature” as Apple calls it, Apple iPhones just shut down without warning.]
2) We’re sorry we didn’t warn you that the battery indicator was accurate, but misleading, even though we knew all along during product testing — and after customer complaints — that the iPhone would fail long before the battery indicator showed there was impending device failure caused by a dead battery.
3) We’re sorry we secretly introduced the slowdown in a software update without any disclaimer about the slowdown, even though we understand the importance of speed performance and constantly advertise the speed of our products in Apple commercials and Apple introductions.
4) We’re sorry that we didn’t take initiative about a battery replacement program until independent testers busted us by revealing the software-controlled processing slowdown.
5) We’re sorry we called the software update a “feature” … that was misleading … no that was worse than misleading … it was deliberately deceptive total nonsense categorization for the update.
6) We’re sorry that after all these years making Apple iPhones, and while taking large sums of money from our customers — by the way making us the wealthiest company in the world — that we haven’t been able to figure out how to supply a competent battery and/or simple battery replacement combination.
7. We’re sorry we have never supplied an iPhone with a battery that lasts a whole working day or a little longer when customers actually use the phone instead of just letting keeping it in the customer’s pocket.
8) We’re sorry that we have sealed the battery inside the device and made it very difficult for customers to replace by themselves, and we’re sorry if customers broke their iPhone’s trying to replace the battery themselves.
9) We’re sorry that battery replacement on iPhones with a fingerprint sensor breaks the sensor.
10) We’re sorry that we can’t help ourselves, and in our endless greed to take advantage of our customers’ inclinations to gullibility, we’re still charging customers $29 for a new battery, instead of offering a free recall of batteries.
11) We’re sorry that we have never delivered our products with the memory and the speed, software efficiency, and battery capacity that customers need, but we have always promised improvements in the next product cycle. This is the game we play, and we’re sorry we’re so good at it.
PS … We are also sorry we decided to solder 4GB of RAM to Mac Minis after they were open to 16GB upgrades for years. This soldered filling of the RAM slots only served to prevent upgrades and promote planned obsolescence of the Mac mini. If we wanted to keep our customers satisfied as long as possible, we wouldn’t have soldered RAM to the slots and prevented customers from having the ability to add more RAM when needed or when affordable.
[See below: “Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.]
Advice to Customers? Think Different, but don’t be brainwashed by Apple.
How many other situations exist, where Apple cheats customers with upgrades on overpriced products that slow down iPhones, iPads and Macs before a reasonable lifetime?
We’ve got some evidence of their fraud, now let’s sue Apple in 2018.
— Mark D. Bostrom
Apple’s Letter Friday December 29, 2017 …
A Message to Our Customers about iPhone Batteries and Performance
We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.
First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.
How batteries age
All rechargeable batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age and their ability to hold a charge diminishes. Time and the number of times a battery has been charged are not the only factors in this chemical aging process.
Device use also affects the performance of a battery over its lifespan. For example, leaving or charging a battery in a hot environment can cause a battery to age faster. These are characteristics of battery chemistry, common to lithium-ion batteries across the industry.
A chemically aged battery also becomes less capable of delivering peak energy loads, especially in a low state of charge, which may result in a device unexpectedly shutting itself down in some situations.
To help customers learn more about iPhone’s rechargeable battery and the factors affecting its performance, we’ve posted a new support article, iPhone Battery and Performance.
It should go without saying that we think sudden, unexpected shutdowns are unacceptable. We don’t want any of our users to lose a call, miss taking a picture or have any other part of their iPhone experience interrupted if we can avoid it.
Preventing unexpected shutdowns
About a year ago in iOS 10.2.1, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE. With the update, iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown. While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance.
Customer response to iOS 10.2.1 was positive, as it successfully reduced the occurrence of unexpected shutdowns. We recently extended the same support for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in iOS 11.2.
Of course, when a chemically aged battery is replaced with a new one, iPhone performance returns to normal when operated in standard conditions.
Recent user feedback
Over the course of this fall, we began to receive feedback from some users who were seeing slower performance in certain situations. Based on our experience, we initially thought this was due to a combination of two factors: a normal, temporary performance impact when upgrading the operating system as iPhone installs new software and updates apps, and minor bugs in the initial release which have since been fixed.
We now believe that another contributor to these user experiences is the continued chemical aging of the batteries in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices, many of which are still running on their original batteries.
Addressing customer concerns
We’ve always wanted our customers to be able to use their iPhones as long as possible. We’re proud that Apple products are known for their durability, and for holding their value longer than our competitors’ devices.
To address our customers’ concerns, to recognize their loyalty and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions, we’ve decided to take the following steps:
Apple is reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 — from $79 to $29 — for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018. Details will be provided soon on apple.com.
Early in 2018, we will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.
As always, our team is working on ways to make the user experience even better, including improving how we manage performance and avoid unexpected shutdowns as batteries age.
At Apple, our customers’ trust means everything to us. We will never stop working to earn and maintain it. We are able to do the work we love only because of your faith and support — and we will never forget that or take it for granted.
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