Recently, there has been a huge scandal in the media about Apple secretively slowing down their older iPhone models. People complain that this is Apple’s attempt to get users to buy newer phone models, and that it is simply founded on corporate greed. As such, Apple is facing multiple class-action lawsuits. However, it appears that the proponents of these lawsuits have never read Apple’s terms of service with regards to iOS.
One of the most popular claims made against Apple is that “I bought the phone, and therefore, it is my property. Apple has no right to slow down my property.” The issue with this argument is a misunderstanding of what actually happens when someone “buys” an Apple product. According to Apple’s TOS, “The software . . . is licensed, not sold, to you by Apple Inc. (“Apple”) for use only under the terms of this License.”
This highlights a key problem with the previously stated argument. While you may own the actual hardware that you can hold in your hand, the software, more specifically the operating system, is still owned by Apple.
This is the issue at hand. Apple spends hundreds of millions of dollars developing their publicly beloved operating system, iOS. They then install that operating system on the physical device. Note that this device would not work without iOS, which is property of Apple.
You are then sold that device, which would be completely useless without an operating system. So unless you bought an iPhone, uninstalled iOS, and designed your own operating system, you cannot claim that Apple should be punished for making you update. Remember, you are still subject to Apple’s wishes in relation to their software.
Furthermore, the entire point of the free market system is to punish a company that does wrong in the eyes of the public without need of government force. Instead of attacking Apple unjustly by suing them, maybe don’t buy their products. A revolutionary claim, isn’t it?
If there are people who get upset at Apple over this controversy, join in on the class action lawsuit, but continue to buy Apple products, then those people need a lesson in freedom. People like that are pretty much telling Apple, “I like your products and the services you provide me at a price that I am willing to pay, but I don’t like the executive decisions you make as a company. I, as a self-righteous member of the public, should be allowed to dictate what your company should be allowed to do. Just don’t forget that once I’m done dictating, I still want you to provide me with the products that I love.”
Possibly the best part about the situation is that competition in the mobile device industry is alive and well. Samsung, HTC, Google, and tons of other manufacturers create workable phones at payable prices. Not only that, but this controversy will most likely stoke Apple’s competitors towards creating even better products in hope of taking some of Apple’s market share. The time has never been better to be a consumer in need of a phone, and if you don’t like what Apple is doing with their older phone models, then don’t buy from them.