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Apple Customers are angry. Apple admitted that their recent
software updates purposely slowing down the older models. Apple said the reason
for slowing down the older phones is to prevent “unexpected shutdowns” because
of older phones have “weaker” batteries. When the news got out, Apple quickly
apologized and offered customers discounted replacement batteries. It appears
that the slowdown of the phones is not a one time glitch, but a “planned
obsolescence” tactic that Apple is using to prompt customers to replace their
devices with newer models sooner than necessary. People rushed to replace the
older phones, without realizing that they could get a new battery, or better
yet, not install the software update. Has Apple violated any law, or breached
its contract with customers?

The terms of agreement, which most people click I agree
before actually reading, for the new software update is vague, but it seems to
(unsurprisingly) grant Apple wide authority to incorporate any functionality
feature. The contract announces that Apple “does not warrant against
interference with your enjoyment of the iOS software …or that the operation
will be uninterrupted or error-free.” The contract further warns that
“installation of this iOS software may affect the availability and usability”
of apps and services.

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Undeniably, companies sell in the market things that people
don’t really need all the time, and are not breaking the law. But it is one
thing to knowingly sell products of no practical use like “smart” water bottles
(reminding you to be thirsty) or Bluetooth toasters (“to toast
smarter”)—consumers can figure out in advance what they are getting. It is an
entirely different matter to make representations that turn out to be
misleading, by merchants with superior information, pretending to provide their
trusting customers reliable advice on how to get the most from their products.

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