After iPhone slow-downs, Apple offers battery replacements - but it'll cost you

Apple will discount out of warranty iPhone battery replacements to $29 for one year to make up for battery confusion.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

Apple on Thursday published a letter on its website apologizing for the misunderstanding surrounding how it handles performance for iPhones with older batteries.

To remedy the situation, Apple is discounting the price of out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement and issuing a software update in early 2018 with more health analysis of iPhone battery.

To replace an out-of-warranty battery, Apple will charge $29 (down from $79) to anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, starting in late January. The program will be available worldwide through December 2018.

"First and foremost, we have never -- and would never -- do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrade," Apple wrote. "Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that."

The apology follows a statement from Apple earlier this month that it intentionally slows down performance on some older iPhone models due to shutdown issues that can be caused by aging lithium-ion batteries.

Apple began this practice when it released iOS 10.2.1 last year, to stop the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE from shutting down from troubling power circumstances like cold weather, low battery charge or battery aging. Apple's statement and reports from bloggers helped fuel conspiracy theories Apple is intentionally slowing down its products to fuel sales.

As ZDNet's Jason Perlow pointed out, the older iPhone battery fiasco has put a bad mark on the company's reputation. Not to mention, Apple could see a bevy of consumer protection lawsuits launched against it worldwide.

"We've always wanted our customers to be able to use their iPhones as long as possible," Apple added on Thursday. "We're proud that Apple products are known for their durability, and for holding their value longer than our competitors' devices."

The new software update to be released for iOS in 2018 will feature the ability for users to "see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance."

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