Last year was Apple’s triumphant 10th anniversary of the iPhone’s launch. The device that ushered in our smartphone era and truly made the Internet mobile was glorified for what it had done for us. But now, in January of the following year, Apple and its iPhone are no longer the media darlings they have always been, but the new villains in our overconnected world. Apple did itself no favours after its practice of slowing down older-model handsets was revealed late in 2017, prompting numerous class-action suits in the litigious US. Apple has been criticised for any number of sins, real or imagined. But this was an active attempt at making its own products inferior — no matter what justifications it offers for preserving battery performance. It was a needless own goal. It’s the latest scandal to befall Silicon Valley and its creations. Last year we fell out of love with social media, which has been weaponised by trolling, misogyny, intolerance and legions of bots, and was used to diss...

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