- Senator Marco Rubio blasted Apple for “arrogance” over slowing down iPhones with older batteries without telling customers.
- Apple is facing at least 9 lawsuits over the practice.
- On Thursday, Apple apologized, and promised to add new features to the iOS operating system that would give customers more insight into their battery’s health. It will also slash replacement battery prices in 2018.
- Rubio had previously defended Apple in its public fight with the FBI in 2016.
Apple has already apologized for its practice of slowing down iPhones with older batteries — but that apparently wasn’t enough for United States Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who blasted Apple’s “arrogance” to his 3.38 million Twitter followers.
“Problem isn’t just phone.It’s arrogance of Apple. Remotely control how phones work & admit only after getting caught,” wrote Rubio on Twitter on Friday morning. Rubio’s tweet included a link to a Washington Post article on the scandal.
Problem isn’t just phone.It’s arrogance of Apple. Remotely control how phones work & admit only after getting caught https://t.co/1blbV8y4ts
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 29, 2017
On Thursday afternoon, Apple issued a formal apology for the practice, promising to add features to iOS that would give users better insight into the health of their battery. It also published an explainer on exactly how and why it will limit iPhones with aging batteries. Apple said that starting in January, the price of a replacement iPhone battery would be slashed from $79 to $29 for the next 12 months.
Rubio’s tweet comes amid an Apple backlash that includes legal action: At least 8 American iPhone owners have filed lawsuits against Apple, with another suit filed in France. The core of the complaints is that Apple slowed down iPhones without informing their owners, which, in turn, made it more likely that they would buy a new one.
Judging from Rubio’s tweet, the senator agrees with that assessment. In his 140-character opinion, Apple should have been more open about what it was doing, and why, even if there was a good reason for it.
It’s worth noting that in 2016, Rubio defended Apple in its public spat with the FBI. While Rubio urged Apple to “voluntarily comply” with the FBI’s request to unlock the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, he also supported Apple CEO Tim Cook’s claim that building in an “encryption backdoor” in iPhone software would compromise national security.