Amid controversy, lawsuits, Apple announces new battery policy for iPhone users

Friday, 29 Dec, 2017

First, beginning in late January 2018 and lasting for the rest of the year, Apple will reduce the price of out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50; from $79 to $29, for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later. The reduced price will remain available throughout 2018, the company said.

Apple is now being accused in lawsuits of purposely slowing down the performance of older iPhone handsets just when the newest models are ready to be launched, thus creating demand for the newer iPhone units.

The responses begin to clarify whether or not throttling processor speeds is typical behavior in smartphones - as of last week, we knew that Apple was doing it, but not whether it was common practice among competitors.

Disgruntled iPhone users have filed class action lawsuits against Apple in several major states in the United States such as New York, California, and IL, as well as globally, including in Israel. Even though Apple claims this is ultimately to the benefit of the consumer as it makes iPhones last longer than they would otherwise, some consumers are understandably upset about this and are pursuing legal action against the company.

To mitigate that, iOS 10.2.1 included a feature that "improves power management" to avoid unexpected shut downs in the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus and SE.

Instead, Apple acknowledged that it slowed down iPhones and explained why only after a Reddit user revealed that replacing the iPhone's battery would restore the handset's performance to its former glory.

Apple said it introduced this behavior a year ago, for the iPhone 6, 6S, and SE, as a way to prevent random shutdowns of aging phones. Most of the phones suffering from slower performance were running on their original batteries. This year's iOS 11.2 extended the feature to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

Apple is now facing eight lawsuits over its iPhone slowdown practice, and one of those suits is seeking almost $1 trillion in damages. We're proud that Apple products are known for their durability, and for holding their value longer than our competitors' devices.

Apple said that in recent months, it has heard more feedback from users about degraded performance in specific situations, which the company believes is coming from "continued chemical aging" of batteries coupled with minor bugs and a "normal, temporary performance impact" that comes with software upgrades. 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.