Apple Says Sorry And Cut The Cost Of Replacing Batteries

What can you do if you're an iPhone user?

AFrench consumer rights group filed a suit on December 27 that accuses Apple of degrading its old phones in order to sell new ones.

At least eight lawsuits have been filed in California, New York and IL alleging that the company defrauded users by slowing devices down without warning them. The company recently admitted to slowing down older iPhones intentionally to compensate for degrading batteries. Apple said the problem was that ageing lithium batteries delivered power unevenly, which could cause iPhones to shutdown unexpectedly to protect the delicate circuits inside.

A year ago we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions.

With the iOS 11.2 update, it applied the same strategy to its iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

As it appears, CPU and GPU frequency reductions are not the only things done by iOS to prevent shutdowns of iPhone 6, 6S, SE and 7.

There has been speculation from Apple customers that their older handsets were being slowed down in a bid to entice them into an upgrade. Whether or not Apple actually did this to increase the longevity of these older devices is anyone's guess. However, the company has yet to release any statement about the issue.

You can read the Apple statement in full here. Those with phones under warranty or who have Applecare will be able to have batteries replaced for free.

In the United States, the discount is $50, thereby putting the price at $29 for battery replacement for iPhone 6 and phones released after that. Details will be provided soon on apple.com. "Early in 2018, we will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance", said the company.

It does look like Apple is trying to be proactive about the situation. Apple also constantly makes changes to its software, improves security and offers other updates that won't work with all older models. It may seem too little, too late for some. Apple stresses that while it reduces SoC frequency, it preserves cellular call quality, networking and Global Positioning System performance, location accuracy, captured photo and video quality, operation of sensors as well as Apple Pay. Apple expressed that users' trust is what drives the company forward. Some include the loss of value and the loss of use. The suits ask the company to pay iPhone owners varying amounts. All of the said performance-related features are important to the user, yet are not crucial when it comes to phone usage in general and in emergencies in particular.

"We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down", the unsigned message said.