Technology

Apple Apologizes For Slowing Old iPhones

Here’s something we don’t see very often. Apple has actually admitted to slowing old iPhones and even apologized for doing it. The company is also offering a little something to try to make peace with those who feel like Apple was purposely shortening the lifespan of their devices. Considering that even South Korea wanted answers about the issue, it’s probably a good thing Apple owned up to it.

slowing old iphones
Image Credit: Apple.com (screenshot)

Apple admits to slowing old iPhones

In a letter posted on its website, Apple explained that customers have been giving feedback on how it handles “performance for iPhones with older batteries” and also how the process has been communicated.

“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down,” the letter states. “We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.”

The company denied ever doing anything to intentionally shorten the life of any of its products or degrading performance in order to push users to upgrade. It also explained the technology behind rechargeable batteries, the devices that use them, and what happens to such batteries as they age. Apple also posted a new support article about battery chemistry and aging for those who want to learn more.

Apple then referenced iOS 10.2.1, an update designed to improve power management when a device is running at its peak to prevent crashing on the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus and SE. Recently we reviewed some benchmarking data which offered proof that Apple seemed to be slowing old iPhones, and the data tracked the issue to select iOS versions, including iOS 10.2.1.

Caught red-handed… but not their fault…

It appeared that the company had been caught red-handed slowing old iPhones, and Apple’s letter basically just confirms everything that the data revealed previously. Of course, the iPhone maker painted the whole thing in a positive light, which is what we would expect.

Apple then explained that this fall, some customers started reporting that they were “seeing slower performance in certain situations.” The company decided that the recent issues with slowing old iPhones actually wasn’t its fault at all. Rather, Apple theorizes that “the continued chemical aging of the batteries in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices” is to blame now, adding that many of these devices are still running on their original batteries.

As a peace offering, Apple announced that it’s slashing $50 off the price of out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements, making them $29 for those with an iPhone 6 or later “whose battery needs to be replaced.” This offer will start in January and last through December 2018.

Apple is also planning an iOS update in early 2018 with additional features that will help users get a clearer understanding of the health of their iPhone’s battery.