Apple apologises for slowing older iPhones, next iOS update to add info on battery health
Facing a barrage of criticism after acknowledging the existence of a feature that can reduce the processing power of old iPhones, Apple said Thursday that it would reduce the price of battery replacements to regain customers’ trust.
Apple apologised to its customers after a major outrage over disclosure that it was deliberately slowing down older iPhones. The company had earlier said that the move was necessary to avoid unexpected shutdowns related to battery fatigue.
Many customers had interpreted the move as a way to for Apple to juice demand for newer iPhone models, their suspicions fueled by the fact that the company didn't initially disclose the slowdowns or its reasons for them.
Apple has now promised to be more transparent on how it handles performance of older iPhones.
"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," said Apple in a statement.
Apple added that the power management feature was introduced with iOS 10.2.1 update to prevent shutdowns on older models.
"With the update, iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown. While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance," it said.
"Customer response to iOS 10.2.1 was positive, as it successfully reduced the occurrence of unexpected shutdowns. We recently extended the same support for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in iOS 11.2."
Apple also said that it would release a software update in early 2018 that would allow users to more clearly see the health of their iPhone's battery.
The company also said it was reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement from $79 to %29 for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, starting in late January through December 2018.
The controversy erupted last week after Apple acknowledged a feature to 'smooth out' spikes in demand for power to prevent iPhone 6 models from shutting down due to the cold or weak batteries.
Apple is facing multiple lawsuits including one in Israel for allegedly breaching customers' trust.