Apple has apologized to its customers for what it calls a “misunderstanding” around the revelation that the company has been slowing down older phones to accommodate for their aging batteries.
“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize,” the company said in a letter published on its website Thursday.
The controversy over the slowing performance of aging iPhones exploded last week after a blog post highlighted the relationship between iPhone performance and battery condition. Apple later confirmed that it has been slowing older iPhones’ performance to prevent sudden shutdowns as their aging batteries lost potency over time.
In the letter posted Thursday, Apple said it considers batteries “consumable components” and that it has always wanted customers to be able to use iPhones “as long as possible.” To that end, the company will cut the price of a battery replacement by $50 for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later starting in late January. That means instead of dropping $79 to get a new battery and make your old iPhone work like new again, you’ll pay $29 through December 2018.
iPhone users can also expect an iOS software update early in 2018 that will include new information about their battery’s health, letting people see when the phone’s battery may be affecting its performance.
The iPhone battery revelations struck a chord because some iPhone users believe the company intentionally slows its older phones to get customers to buy new ones. However, Apple says the practice is meant to prolong the life of older batteries. “This feature’s only intent is to prevent unexpected shutdowns so that the iPhone can still be used,” Apple says in a new support article.
Still, Apple is now facing several lawsuits over the matter. The company also promised to keep working on how it manages performance to avoid shutdowns, and said it hopes to earn customers’ trust again next year.
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