Hoping to capitalize on Apple battery controversy, HTC and Motorola volunteer that they don't slow down old phones
Bad publicity for Apple is a potential opportunity for competitors to gain ground, as seen with the iPhone battery controversy compelling HTC and Motorola to issue statements, saying they do not throttle performance on phones with older batteries.
Both companies responded to requests from The Verge, who asked in light of Apple's admission that it temporarily throttles performance on older devices with aging batteries.
Slowing down the CPU on older phones is "not something we do," an HTC spokesperson reportedly said. And a Motorola representative indicated: "We do not throttle CPU performance based on older batteries.
The publication also sought comment from Google, Samsung, LG and Sony, but definitive answers were not provided.
Considering all smartphone makers deal with the same limitations of battery capacity and lifespan, along with processor demands, it would not be surprising if some other major smartphone makers employ the same tactics as Apple.
Conversely, it is unclear whether those who do not throttle devices with older batteries have devices more prone to the kinds of random device shutdowns that Apple says its approach helps prevent.
Apple has said its software fix addresses issues with aging batteries, which are prone to random shutdowns when subjected to spikes in power usage. In a statement, the company referred to the slowdown as a "feature" that will "smooth out instantaneous peaks only when needed."
While Apple argues that the throttling keeps devices operational for longer, the admission has helped fueled a popular conspiracy theory that Apple intentionally slows down older iPhones to encourage customers to buy a new device. Tests have shown that older devices outfitted with a new battery — Â which Apple provides for $89 — see their performance return to normal levels.
Fueled by those conspiracy theories, as well as users who are upset that Apple did not previously admit that it was throttling older devices, the company has been hit by a number of lawsuits.
This week, the company was even named in a criminal lawsuit in France, where planned obsolescence is illegal. It's unclear whether that complaint will actually make it to trial, however, as Apple's throttling as described is actually intended to keep devices working for longer periods of time, not shorter.