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Apple Apologizes for Slowing Down Some iPhones, Offers $35 Battery Swaps [u]

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Update Jan. 2/2018: Apple is replacing iPhone 6 or later batteries–regardless of diagnostic results.

Apple has published a letter on its website, detailing iPhone batteries and performance, in response to the current uproar over its slow down of CPU speeds for some older iPhone models, which currently resulted in numerous class action lawsuits. Here’s what Apple has to say:

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.

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.

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Apple explains lithium-ion batteries degrade over time, based on the number of charge cycles and performance loads. When batteries enter a low state of charge, unexpected shutdowns can occur, which is why Apple implemented a fix in iOS 10.2.1 for iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPhone 6s/6s Plus and iPhone SE. The update “dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown,” and the same support was added for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus in iOS 11.2.

The company says it believes “continued chemical aging” of batteries in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices are another cause of slower performance in “certain situations”.

Apple says “To address our customers’ concerns, to recognize their loyalty and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions,” they plan to do the following:

  • Reducing out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements to $29 USD ($35 CAD), savings of $50 from the $79 USD price, for any iPhone 6 or later “whose battery needs to be replaced” by late January and worldwide through December 2018.
  • Early 2018 will see an iOS update to “give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.”

Apple concludes their letter by saying “our customers’ trust means everything to us. We will never stop working to earn and maintain it. We are able to do the work we love only because of your faith and support — and we will never forget that or take it for granted.”

Canadians will now pay $35 for a battery replacement on an out-of-warranty iPhone, about 64% savings compared to the original price of $99 CAD. This is equal to the discount we’re seeing down in the USA.

No word on what it will cost in Canadian dollars for this battery swap, but stay tuned and we’ll keep you updated. The U.S. discount works out to 63% in savings. Currently, out of warranty battery service costs $99 CAD, so Canadians could expect to pay around $37 CAD or so?

What do you think of Apple’s response to this iPhone battery slow down issue? Is this announcement too little, too late? There’s also a support document detailing more battery info, which you can check out here.

Update: Canadian pricing for out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements will be $35 CAD, as per Apple.ca. This article has been updated to reflect the local pricing.

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