Apple has issued a letter for its consumers on Thursday which explains there an apology for slowing down older iPhones and offered a large reduction in the price of replacement batteries from $79 to $29 for the next year.
The public mea culpa follows days of social media grumblings about the poor performance of older iPhones as well as a slew of lawsuits has been filed by consumers who felt the Cupertino smartphone giant was deliberately sabotaging older products in order to generate new sales.
“There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making,” read the letter. “First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.
In the letter, Apple explained that a year ago, it delivered a software update aimed at improving power management during peak workloads “to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE. While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may go through longer launch time for apps and other reductions in performance.”
Apple said at first it believed such performance loss was due to a collaboration of factors, including “a normal, temporary performance impact” when upgrading the operating system and minor bugs.
“We now believe that another contributor to these user experiences is the continued chemical aging of the batteries in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices, many of which are still running on their original batteries,” the letter said.
Apple further explained that to address user concerns and “to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions,” it plans to: Reduce the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 — from $79 to $29 — for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be actually replaced, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018. Details will be provided soon on the official site that is apple.com.
Early in 2018, “we will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more clarity into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is changing the performance.”
The older iPhone performance issue, which quickly became dubbed Batterygate, drew ire and legal maneuverings against a company that particularly enjoys a rabid fanbase.
In the recent of a number of lawsuits filed in the U.S. and overseas, iPhone owners contended that Apple’s failure to bring into the concern of iPhone users of the practice and not promoting the capability to replace the batteries in their older devices amounts to fraud, deception, and breach of contract.
Unlike many rival smartphones, Apple’s battery is packed inside its handset, which only encourages buyers to consider upgrading their phones as the lithium-ion battery power actually fades over time.