In the wake of widespread complaints about slower performance in older iPhones following a previous update, Apple released a statement apologizing for the problem and announced their plans to rectify it. The software update in question deliberately slowed down older models in some situations in order to extend battery life. Apple says they will temporarily lower the price of replacement batteries to $29 in late January. In 2019, the price will revert to its original price of $79.
Some customers believed the update was all part of a strategy to get them to upgrade to new devices and thus turn a bigger profit for the company. People have even filed lawsuits due to this issue. “Nobody from Apple customer support suggested that he replace his battery to improve the performance of his iPhone. … Frustrated by slowdowns and intermittent shutdowns of his iPhone 7, Pedelty purchased an iPhone 8,” the lawsuit read on behalf of one of the plaintiffs, Kirk Pedelty.
Apple stridently denies that their motivation behind the update was based upon any such intentions.
“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 company wrote in its statement.
In addition to offering a reduced-price replacement battery, Apple is taking other steps to ensure customers are satisfied. In the early part of the new year, company reps say they will issue an iOS software update with new features that will give users a better picture of the health of their iPhone’s battery so they can see firsthand if its condition is affecting the phone’s 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,” the statement reads.