Apple recently admitted that it has been slowing down older model iPhones, although it claims it was doing this for the good of your phone.
Naturally, this was met with various levels of outrage. Conspiracy theorists felt vindicated: here was the proof that Apple wanted you to buy a new iPhone every single year! Others were just dismayed at feeling penalized for keeping their phones as long as they could.
Even though Apple said it had the best of intentions, users still weren't happy. Now, Apple is trying to make things right. Read on for all the details.
Apple Says It Has a Good Reason to Slow Down Your Battery
A reddit user tracked performance on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 over time. He noticed what many iPhone owners had long suspected — that older models grew slower over time. While some might blame that on limited storage and constant updates, it turns out that's not quite the case.
Apple explained the situation to The Verge, saying "Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices." Basically Apple said it's slowing down older models in order to maximize iPhone battery lifespans. This is also supposedly meant to prevent unexpected shutdowns, which can become an issue as lithium-ion batteries age.
Despite this explanation, the discovery has garnered tons of bad publicity for Apple, as well as threats of class-action lawsuits.
As a 'Make Good,' Now You Can Upgrade Your Battery for Less
Apple finally apologized to customers, acknowledging that some users felt let down, and is planning to offer a solution for anyone who has a phone out of warranty. Apple is dropping the price of replacement batteries from $79 to $29 in an effort to make things right. The price is good for anyone who has an iPhone 6 or later.
If your iPhone is older than a 6, there's still a battery-saving option; iFixit has reduced the price of its DIY iPhone battery fix kits to $29 or less. These kits work for the iPhone 4S through to the iPhone 7. They include everything you need to swap the battery out, but it does mean you'll have to do it yourself rather than paying Apple to do it for you.
Apple Will Only Discount Batteries Through 2018
Of course there's a catch. Anyone who wants to take advantage of this offer from Apple has to do it before 2019. The promotion has already begun, and it will run through December of 2018. Prices will increase to $79 again in January of 2019.
You Might Be Eligible for a Refund
If you already bought a battery at full price, you might be able to get a refund. There's some anecdotal evidence of customers receiving refunds for the price difference if they bought before the discount. However, details about who is eligible for such a refund, and how to get it, are scarce.
Our best advice? Check with Apple (and be extremely polite about it) to see if you're eligible. Visit a store if you can, when foot traffic is minimal.
But Apple Might Not Replace Your Battery
Unfortunately, if your phone is damaged in other ways, Apple could opt to not replace the battery. It could also refuse to give you the discount if an employee finds third-party components in your iPhone. Although certain types of damage and third-party repair jobs could void your warranty (except for screen replacements), this is still a curious caveat since this solution replaces batteries on devices that are out-of-warranty in the first place.
Readers, what do you think? Is this move enough for Apple to redeem itself? Let us know in the comments below.