Apple Apologizes For iPhone Slowdowns, Will Slash Battery Replacement Fee

The Hill – by Ali Breland

Apple apologized to customers for deliberately slowing down older iPhones as their batteries age, in a letter it released on Thursday.

“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize,” the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm’s statement read. “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.” 

The company said that starting in late January, it would decrease the out-of-warranty cost of replacing an iPhone 6 battery from $79 down to $29. It will also release a software update that makes an iPhone’s battery health more transparent.

Apple’s apology and decision come after a controversy following the revelation last week that as the health of an iPhone battery degrades over time, Apple’s software adjusts accordingly, intentionally slowing down the phone so that its weaker battery doesn’t quickly die.

The admission comes after years of suspicion that Apple intentionally slowed its phones down over time to spur consumers to purchase new iPhones, which are released annually.

In its letter, Apple explained that last year it introduced a software update that “improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns.”

It said this update would occasionally cause the phone to slow down and reduce overall performance.

“Of course, when a chemically aged battery is replaced with a new one, iPhone performance returns to normal when operated in standard conditions,” Apple’s letter reads.

Consumers, frustrated with the company, launched several class-action lawsuits over the matter Thursday. They allege that Apple defrauded customers by hiding the true cause of an iPhone’s decreased performance, leading to potentially costly repair attempts that did not address the root issue.

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