Apple Apologizes For Slowing Down Older iPhones, Offers $29 Battery Replacement

After receiving flack from tech bloggers and mobile consumers across the world for admitting that they deliberately slow down the performance of iPhone models with older batteries via software updates, Apple Inc. - on December 28, 2017 - released a statement to apologize for performing such action and offered a clear solution for owners of affected devices. (Read more)

To quote the Cupertino company, "We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. 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.

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. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that." (source)

Apple further explained that iPhone users experience a slow down after a firmware update due to a combination of there factors:

1. A normal, temporary performance impact when upgrading the operating system as iPhone installs new software and updates apps
2. Minor bugs in the initial release which have since been fixed
3. Continued chemical aging of the batteries in older iPhone models

They also noted that "a chemically aged battery also becomes less capable of delivering peak energy loads, especially in a low state of charge, which may result in a device unexpectedly shutting itself down in some situations. It should go without saying that we think sudden, unexpected shutdowns are unacceptable. We don’t want any of our users to lose a call, miss taking a picture or have any other part of their iPhone experience interrupted if we can avoid it."

To help fix this issue, Apple has lowered the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement to just $29 (from a high of $79) for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced. Additionally, the company will issue an iOS software update early in 2018, which will include new features that will give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery.

TechPinas Thoughts

While I appreciate that Apple is a tech giant that's not shy to apologize for its shortcomings, I'm slightly annoyed at the fact that the company has yet again tried to turn this debacle into another money-making opportunity. I mean, prior to this issue, how many Apple iPhone owners have actually thought about having their device's battery replaced? I sure haven't. But I guess that's the essence of capitalism.

To wrap up, as an owner of several iPhone models including the latest one, I'm glad that this topic has been brought to light. In many ways, it checked Apple's usually unquestioned business practices. Whether or not an aging battery is truly the root cause of the performance degradation of older iPhones, at least, Apple now knows that consumers are watching their moves carefully. Moving forward, I hope all these would help improve the product experience of all iPhone owners.

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