Apple Apologizes for iPhone Slowdowns, Offers $29 Replacement Batteries to Consumers

Kārlis Dambrāns, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Kārlis Dambrāns, Flickr // CC BY 2.0 / Kārlis Dambrāns, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

The year isn’t exactly ending on a peaceful note for Apple. A few weeks back, consumers on Reddit and tech journalists began to note that older iPhone models were experiencing a steep slowdown in performance after updates to their operating systems were installed. Though the company has admitted that this slowdown measure was intentional, it was apparently a necessary step to prolong the life of the older phones’ batteries.

The fact that Apple was intentionally slowing down older phones didn’t sit well with consumers, with some going so far as to file lawsuits against the company, claiming “deceptive, immoral, and unethical” practices. The tech giant is still in damage control mode over the issue, and now the company has detailed a plan on its website designed to help consumers deal with the battery issue in a far more transparent, and less expensive, way. On its site, Apple wrote:

• Apple is reducing 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 replaced, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018. Details will be provided soon on • Early in 2018, we will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance. • As always, our team is working on ways to make the user experience even better, including improving how we manage performance and avoid unexpected shutdowns as batteries age.

Apple isn’t backing down from its stance that the slowdown feature was vital for the lifespan of older phone models and will help prevent the unexpected shutdowns that could plague the likes of the iPhone 6. Calling shutdowns “unacceptable,” the company used this statement to further educate consumers on the science behind aging batteries and why these slowdowns were implemented.

For any conspiracy theorists out there, Apple also again stressed that “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." Whether that's enough to regain the trust of consumers, and ward off more lawsuits, remains to be seen.

Once you receive your new battery from Apple, your iPhone performance should return to normal “when operated in standard conditions.” More information on the specifics behind these replacement batteries will be provided soon, according to the company.

[h/t The Verge]