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Mt. Juliet teen who discovered issues in iPhones hopes to work for Apple

Jacob Smith • Dec 26, 2017 at 5:35 PM

Several people have filed class-action lawsuits against Apple after the company admitted to limiting performance on older iPhones.

Perhaps a smart course of action could be hiring the person who discovered the limited performance in the first place, none other than 17 year-old Mt. Juliet native Tyler Barney.

Barney discovered the issue when he realized his phone, and iPhone 6s, had slowed down after updating it to the newest operating system.

“It became buggy. That’s the best way to put it,” said Barney. “It was a big mess all the time. Even typing was painful. Seconds passed between keystrokes.”

Barney knew something was up when he used his brother’s iPhone 6, an older model but a newer phone, and noticed it wasn’t having the same issues.

“That’s when I realized it was a problem with the hardware, not the software,” said Barney.

Barney found the possible solution online, upgrading the phone’s battery to a newer one. He did this and said the new battery was twice as fast as the old one, which led him to believe the poor performance was due to the phone’s lithium-ion batteries.

Barney posted his findings on Reddit, where it went viral, prompting Apple to release a statement last Wednesday that explained the issue.

“Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as the age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components,” Apple said in a statement. “Last year, we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions.”

While Apple told consumers about the release of the update, they neglected to mention it would slow the phone down, which led to the class-action lawsuits.

Barney himself said he understands the solution, but thinks Apple could have handled it better.

“I think the way they fixed the problem was the best way they could have done it,” said Barney. “They could have told their fan base more, though. I think they didn’t want people to freak out, but the lack of communication hurt them.”

Barney hasn’t lost loyalty to the company. In fact, he said his dream job would be developing software for the company. His mom, Laura Blevins, started the hashtag #hirethekid, hoping to get Apple’s attention.

“He’s been working on developing apps and tech for about five years,” said Blevins. “He started working when he was 15 as an IT guy for a law firm, so he knows the technology.”

For now, Barney’s just amazed at the attention a simple Reddit post got him.

“I’ve had so many people come up and talk to me, and say, ‘hey, I saw you in the news. That’s so cool,’” said Barney. “I made the post to try to help as many people as I could, and now so many people have seen it.” 

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