Apple has been in hot water for a little while now after it was discovered, and subsequently confirmed by the company, that it was throttling older iPhones in relation to degrading batteries.
While Apple’s efforts, which included a new feature it launched a year ago to stop older iPhones from randomly shutting down, may be an attempt to keep iPhones in the hands of customers longer, it was simply not communicated well at all. And, with data that proved older iPhones were getting slower as they aged, and with conspiracy theories stating as much for years, the perfect storm caught on just before the end of 2017.
Now, in light of all that commotion and feedback (backlash), Apple has officially published a comment on the situation. First, it says that it has heard the customers and believes that there has been a general state of misunderstanding on the issue, and Apple’s goals:
“We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. 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.”
The company’s statement then reads that it would never artificially shorten the lifespan of any of its devices, and that it would never purposefully degrade the performance of its devices in an attempt to make its customers upgrade sooner:
“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.”
The released statement then covers the bases. It goes over battery aging, and then touches on the feature that Apple implemented last year (which effects phones as old as the iPhone 6 and as recent as the iPhone 7 right now), which it admits that while the primary goal is to avoid unexpected shutdowns of those devices, users can experience slower app launching and more:
“About a year ago in iOS 10.2.1, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE. 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.”
The real interesting part comes at the end, when Apple announces that it will be reducing out-of-warranty battery replacements by $50 — down to just $29 — beginning in late January and until December 2018. That will cover iPhones dating back to the iPhone 6. And Apple says further details are on the way.
In addition to that, Apple will also be releasing a software update in “early 2018” that will offer more visibility regarding the health of their iPhone’s battery.
Here are the bullet points:
- Apple is reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 — from $79 to $29 — for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018. Details will be provided soon on apple.com.
- Early in 2018, we 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.
- As always, our team is working on ways to make the user experience even better, including improving how we manage performance and avoid unexpected shutdowns as batteries age.
What started as a conspiracy theory earlier this month, one that postulated that Apple was actually slowing down older iPhones as the battery life degraded, and was subsequently backed by Geekbench scores showing a correlation, turned out to be true. All of that led to Apple officially confirming that they do indeed slow down older iPhones as the Lithium-Ion battery in the handset dies out. Apple wants iPhones to work longer, according to the company, and making sure that the processor doesn’t overtax the battery is the goal. As well as stopping random shutdowns.
The full statement can be found through the source link below.
This is hopefully going to be a learning experience for Apple. The company’s focus on being closed off to its customers, unless it’s something it can market, only leaves room for moments like this, where it has to backtrack and try to fix a problem it could have just been upfront about last year and avoided most of this drama.
Then again, we may see things just go back to how they were, and eventually Apple will be doing the same thing for another issue it could’ve avoided right out of the gate.