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Apple to Offer $29 iPhone Battery Replacement Amid Controversy

Apple Files New Patent That Could End the Threat of Exploding Batteries
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Apple publicly admitted to throttling older iPhones last week. And today, the company is doing more to address the ongoing controversy that has cropped up in the wake of that revelation.

The company published a letter on Thursday explaining its policies and apologizing for the miscommunication surrounding the power management system that slows down older iPhones. Apple also detailed a number of changes, including reducing the price of out-of-warranty battery replacements and adding additional information about battery health into iOS.

“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize,” the company wrote, and added that they “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.”

If you’re a bit lost, here’s a refresher: last week, Apple publicly admitted to slowing down old iPhones as their batteries degrade. Specifically, it’s a failsafe measure included in all versions of iOS released in the last year meant to keep components from catching fire and to prevent random shutdowns. And it was discovered by a user who found that replacing their iPhone’s battery significantly boosted its performance.

But, of course, the fact that third-parties — rather than Apple — revealed the existence of that failsafe did not make the company look good. In the wake of that revelation, a slew of class action lawsuits has been levied at the Cupertino tech giant — including a rather ridiculous one asking for nearly $1 trillion in damages.

So to alleviate customer concerns, and presumably to deter future lawsuits, the company has penned today’s letter. In addition to the apology, Apple also expanded on why the power management failsafe is included in iOS in the first place. Apple explains that aged batteries can result in random shutdowns, and to avoid such shutdowns, the company throttles a phone’s peak performance, according to a newly published support article.

The power management failsafe, which was introduced in iOS 10.2.1, is currently implemented for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 devices — including Plus model variants. It will be added to newer devices, like the iPhone X and subsequent devices, as they get older. And, according to Apple, it has successfully reduced unexpected shutdowns.

As far as the changes Apple is making to address customer concerns, they include the following:

  • Apple is reducing the price of out-of-warranty battery replacements to $29 — down from $79. The reduced pricing will be available to anyone with an iPhone 6 or newer, and will run globally from late January through December 2018.
  • Apple also said it will issue an iOS software update with “new features” in early 2018 that will give users more visibility into their iPhone’s battery health. Reportedly, this will allow iOS users to “see for themselves” if battery conditions are affecting performance.

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