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Apple apologizes for slowing iPhones, cuts down battery replacement cost

Apple today released a message to its customers in line with the ongoing 'iPhone slow down' controversy. The message comes with an apology for forcing older iPhones to slow down in order to preserve their battery lives.

In the post, Apple attempts to explain its actions and make up for the issues faced by its customers. The company said it would never intentionally shorten the life of an Apple product. 

To mollify its customers, Apple announced a discount on battery replacements for those using an iPhone 6 or later. In the US, new replacement cost has been brought down to $29, which represents an impressive discount over the $80 Apple usually charges.

Apple's revised battery replacement cost in India

For Indian customers, Apple is offering over 50 percent discount on battery replacements in the country. The company has confirmed that battery replacement in India will now cost Rs. 2000 plus taxes, whereas it used to be Rs. 6000 and above. This revised price is for batteries on the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7 and 7 Plus.

However, the offer will only be applicable from January through to December 2018. According to Apple, it will also introduce new elements to iOS 11 that provides more battery related information to users. As part of that effort, Apple also introduced a lengthy new support document covering “iPhone Battery and Performance.”

Power failure

Many iPhone owners have believed that Apple has been intentionally slowing down their devices for years, usually with the assumption that Apple was trying to force people into buying newer phones.

The truth, according to Apple's letter, is that as iPhones age, their batteries don’t remain strong enough to properly power the processor. So, Apple slows them down a bit so as to keep the device functional. The battery is unable to deliver the current required to run the processor at peak speeds, and may lead to a device shut down.

As we mentioned in our previous coverage, Apple already essentially announced that it was doing this with the release of iOS 10.2.1, which was meant to stop some iPhone 6 units from unexpectedly shutting down. 

All that the patch notes said at the time, though, was that 10.2.1 "improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone." And that improvement worked, and it worked quickly.

Unfortunately, the true nature of that fix wasn’t revealed by Apple itself; instead, it came from independent researchers such as Geekbench's John Poole who showed how Apple was significantly throttling the iPhone 6 and other phones, leading to accusations of betrayal of trust, lawsuits, and general anger.

Hopefully cheaper battery replacements turn out to be a big step in restoring that trust, but considering that there was already a cynical belief that Apple was mishandling its customers in place, the aftershocks might be felt for a while yet.