Apple Apologises for Slowing Down Older iPhones
A replacement will now cost $29 instead of $79 starting in late January 2018.
Apple just published a letter to customers apologizing for the “misunderstanding” around older iPhones being slowed down, following its recent admission that it was, in fact, slowing down older phones in order to compensate for degrading batteries. Apple CEO Tim Cook promised that, in the future, Apple will “give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery” and let people see if their battery’s age affects their phone’s performance.
Apple is also reducing the price of a replacement battery for out of warranty phones to $29, from the original price of $79. In India, the cost of a replacement battery will be around ₹2000 plus taxes, confirmed Apple. The current price was ₹6500 for users of iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, etc. This is for the original iPhone battery from Apple itself, though we will have to see how it changes after the new price reduction.
The admission was seen a confirmation of the ‘planned obsolescence’ theory surrounding Apple products, and it was argued the company was forcing consumers to upgrade, rather than encourage replacement of battery, which was the real issue at fault. Apple is also facing eight lawsuits in the United States now.
The iPhone 6, 6S, SE, and 7 have much slower peak performance as they get older and their batteries aren’t able to provide as much power to the processor. Apple had actually announced this change to performance along with iOS 10.2.1 a year ago, as the fix to a problem with the iPhone 6 that caused unexpected shutdowns if older batteries couldn’t provide enough power to the processor. But it wasn’t transparent about the performance penalty, and the new benchmarks suggest the penalty is much more significant than previously believed.
Apple continues to insist that it’s never artificially slowed down phones — just that it’s aggressively managing phone performance to maximize the lifespan of iPhone batteries. “This feature’s only intent is to prevent unexpected shutdowns so that the iPhone can still be used,” according to a new knowledge base article Apple published alongside today’s letter.