By Jason Snell
December 28, 2017 1:42 PM PT
Apple apologizes, announces $29 battery replacement
Note: This story has not been updated for several years.
On Thursday Apple apologized to iPhone customers for its lack of communication about throttling iPhones with aging batteries and explained in greater detail what it’s actually doing—and what it plans to change in the future.
The company also posted a detailed knowledge base article about the issue, and has committed to making additional details about battery status available to users via an iOS update early in 2018. After the update, the Settings app will inform users if they have a battery that’s degraded to the point where it’s eligible for a replacement. (Currently, Settings only calls out extremely degraded batteries.)
Speaking of replacements, Apple’s dramatically cutting the iPhone battery replacement cost for 2018 (for iPhone 6 or later models), discounting a replacement from $79 to $29.
These are good moves. Making it cheaper to replace an old battery is a big deal for iPhone users, who can get more life out of older models for a lot less money.
Its unfortunate that Apple wasn’t more upfront about its approach to dealing with battery issues on older phones. Their decision to keep silent plays into conspiracy theories about Apple sabotaging older devices to force upgrades. A lack of information and understanding led iPhone users to be frustrated by inexplicable device slowdowns—when there was a perfectly good explanation sitting right there.
This situation could have been avoided, or at least mitigated, but at least it has prompted Apple to communicate better and make battery upgrades much more affordable.
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