Apple has apologized to its customers for slowing down their older iPhones when the battery starts to wear out. Apple’s apology comes after rumblings throughout the tech sector about a secretive update that started slowing older iPhones down.
Apple first acknowledged the update that causes phones to slow down in mid-December after several reports came out alleging older phones purposely slowing down. Some tech industry professionals suggested that this slowdown was an action by Apple to encourage those with older phones to upgrade their phones to a newer model. Apple was quick to deny this and acknowledge that the slowdown was due to battery issues and not the age of the phones.
By acknowledging that phones were being slowed down because of battery issues, some professionals were not quick to buy Apple’s explanation and others were upset that their phones were slowed without their knowledge. Consumers in three different states have begun the process for filing class action suits against Apple for the battery slowdown fiasco. This uproar led to Apple’s apology on December 28th.
Apple claims to have made the update to prevent phones with older batteries from randomly shutting down because of excessive system load. As batteries age, they are less able to provide a stable and adequate voltage to handle the high demands of a modern mobile processor. To prevent system issues, Apple engineers developed a system update to address this issue. The solution allowed the system to slow down to prevent excessive stress on the battery.
Along with Apple’s apology for not being forthright with customers about the update, they announced a new battery update program for 2018. Customers with an iPhone 6 or newer can have their batteries replaced under a special program for $29 instead of the normal $79. The program is poised to run from late January until December 2018.
Apple will also include new battery performance monitoring tools in an upcoming iOS release so that iPhone owners will know their battery quality and potential future issues. It’s unknown yet how much information will be provided, but it will certainly allow customers to know if their speed is being impacted by battery issues.
Many analysts chalk up Apple’s main error is that they were not transparent about the battery update. They think that Apple’s solution was a good tradeoff, but Apple should have been transparent with its customers and let them know what was happening. It would have given customers the option to upgrade their battery instead of buying a new device.