Update Jan. 2/2018: Apple now replacing batteries regardless of diagnostic tests.
Yesterday Apple apologized to its customers for failing to communicate better when it comes to how they were managing lithium ion batteries in older iPhones with iOS updates.
While Apple told its U.S. customers out-of-warranty battery replacements would now cost $29 USD (down from $79), we now have Canadian pricing, as per Apple.ca:
Apple is reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $64 — from $99 to $35 — 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/ca.
iPhone battery replacements in Canada for out-of-warranty iPhone 6 or later “whose battery needs to be replaced”, will be priced at $35 CAD (we guessed it would be around $37), a 64% discount compared to the regular price of $99.
If you have an older iPhone 6 or later lying around, paying $35 for a new battery may breathe new life into your smartphone. What sucks is for those iPhone users who ended up upgrading to a new model, or paying for a battery replacement themselves before this program was announced.
Again, the issue at stake here is Apple’s iOS management of older iPhone batteries. iOS 10.2.1 for iPhone 6/6 Plus, iPhone 6s/6s Plus and iPhone SE slowed down processor clock speeds during low battery periods to prevent unexpected shutdowns. This same feature debuted in iOS 11.2 for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
The problem was Apple didn’t tell anyone about it, as the ‘feature’ was only discovered later on Reddit and further confirmed by Primate Labs. Only then did Apple ‘come clean’ and explain what was really happening, which has resulted in numerous class action lawsuits and even potential criminal action against company executives from French authorities.
It’s worth noting Apple started to replace iPhone 6/6s batteries in China last year over this similar unexpected shutdown issue and subsequently launched a similar program in North America for iPhone 6s.
Stay tuned, as in January 2018, Apple Canada’s iPhone battery replacement program for out-of-warranty phones will debut at $35 CAD, but of course it sounds like only phones ‘eligible’ will get the discounted swap. Apple did note an upcoming iOS update will shed more light on battery performance and health, so stay tuned for that also.