It’s been one of the more persistent tech conspiracy theories: Apple slows down old iPhones to force people to pony up for new iPhones.

This week, Apple confirmed what many have long suspected, but the company says it’s not some elaborate scheme to move more devices. An update to iOS may slow down some iPhone models to protect their older batteries and prevent them from suddenly shutting down.

Customers are angry that Apple didn’t disclose the feature when it was first released in an iOS update last year. Two people are already suing the company, claiming the slow-downs caused “economic damages and other harm.” They’re seeking class-action status.

Before you switch to a Samsung or Google device, or lawyer up, find out if you’re impacted and what you can do about it.

Understand why Apple is slowing phones down

A year ago, some iPhone users reported sudden phone shut-downs, even though they had a significant charge remaining. Apple quietly released an update that slows down the phone when it is putting too much demand on the battery, preventing these sudden shut downs.

The company says the feature is only to remedy a known problem, not a ploy to get more people to buy new phones. However, critics say there are a number of ways Apple could have handled the issue better.

It could have disclosed exactly what it was doing when the first update happened last year. Going forward, it could add an option to turn the throttling setting on or off, in part to help people identify other possible causes of a slow down. And it could make changing batteries easier.

[Read More]