Apple slashed the price of replacement smartphone batteries and committed to making software changes, in an attempt to repair damage caused by its revelation of deliberately slowing down the performance of older iPhones.
In a statement, Apple apologised for its handling of battery issues in older iPhones, and said it wanted to clarify the situation and let customers know about the changes it was making, “to recognise their loyalty and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions”.
The company said it was now taking action to address customer concerns by slashing the price of a replacement iPhone battery by $54, from $79 to $25 for users with an iPhone 6 or later which require a battery replacement.
In addition, the company 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”.
Indeed, Apple is facing a consumer outcry after admitting to implementing a power management feature which slows processor speeds in older iPhones, in order to extend battery life.
The company is also facing lawsuits in the US, and most recently in France, over the issue. French Association Halte a l’obsolescence Programmee (HOP) accused Apple of breaching consumer code on two separate accounts – practising planned obsolescence and misleading customers. In the US, at least eight lawsuits have been filed, alleging the company has been defrauding users.
In its statement, Apple argued that it would never “do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades”.
The company explained all rechargeable batteries become less effective as they chemically age, their ability to hold a charge inevitably diminishes, and they could be subject to unexpected shutdowns with age.
To prevent the latter, Apple said it had delivered a software update a year ago to improve power management “during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, IPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE”.
It then extended the same support for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Following the software upgrades, Apple said it received feedback from customers that were seeing slower performance in certain situations, with a major contributor being the fact that batteries were continuing to chemically age in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices.
News of Apple’s power management feature on older iPhones broke just more than a month after the company released its latest flagship phone, iPhone X, which is priced at $999.