Apple

Inside Apple – the highlights at the turn of the year

NEWS
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iPhones are slowed down to preserve their batteries. Source: iStock.com/Prykhodov

For Apple, the end of 2017 was anything but quiet. The global corporation openly admitted that iPhones with batteries which were no longer functioning at full capacity were deliberately slowed down. The fact that the media and iPhone users reacted with criticism and indignation is hardly surprising. There are still some positive prospects for the new year, however – in 2018, Apple enthusiasts can look forward to the iMac Pro and the new Mac Pro.  

Apple explained its reasons for slowing down iPhones at the end of 2017, although its statement was a long time coming after the media controversy. The objective was to stop the devices from shutting themselves down. In certain circumstances, lithium-ion batteries are no longer capable of withstanding high power loads, which can cause smartphones to switch off suddenly. The performance was therefore slowed down in order to preserve the battery. 

Lack of communication

An update for iPhone models 6, 6s and SE was published in January 2017 without any more precise details of its purpose. It was supposed to solve the problems with iPhones switching themselves off. If Apple had communicated clearly at that point what the update was really about, the controversy would never have occurred. The smartphone giant’s goal in slowing down the processor performance is not – as some suspect – to nudge customers towards buying a new iPhone; instead, the update was intended to keep devices with old, degraded batteries running.

It doesn’t always have to be a new phone

As a gesture of goodwill towards its customers, Apple has now slashed the price of replacement batteries from 88 to around 29 Swiss francs. Batteries can be changed at any of the four Swiss Apple Stores or at a certified Apple retailer. An update is planned for early 2018 which will enable all iPhone users to see the condition of their devices.

However, Jean-Claude Frick, Digital Expert at comparis.ch, describes the important considerations as follows: “Users should be aware that iPhone batteries are easy and now also affordable to replace. With normal usage (which means recharging about once a day), you will notice a reduction in battery life after roughly two years. But that does not mean you have to buy a new iPhone model straight away. A replacement battery costing just a few tens of francs can breathe life into the ‘old’ phone and will also increase the price you can charge if you ever come round to selling your iPhone.” 

New perspectives for creative professionals

The year 2017 ended on a positive note for Apple despite the battery controversy. In the form of the new iMac Pro, the company has launched a high-quality device which stands out on account of its elegant design and exceptional computing power. With an asking price of 5,782.95 francs, however, the all-in-one computer is one of the most expensive devices on the market. That said, for those who use their computers to edit pictures and videos every day, this power tool of the computing world is still a worthwhile investment. Among the qualities cited in the first reviews from the US are outstanding computer power and quiet operation.

The iMac Pro is intended to bridge the gap until Apple releases the new Mac Pro. This high-end computer is to be redeveloped and modularized, and will be easier to upgrade than the current model from the year 2013. According to Jean-Claude Frick, the new Mac Pro is expected to be launched this year – most probably in the fourth quarter of 2018.