Last week, Apple admitted to our faces what we all suspected for a long time — they slow down your iPhone as it ages. They company explained that apparently this intentional slow-down is for our own good (scoff).
According to Apple’s statement, as a lithium-ion battery ages, its ability to hold a charge and deliver energy deteriorates. Older batteries are then more likely to cause your phone to shutdown unexpectedly — as we’ve all probably experienced at some point. Last year, with the iOS 10.2.1 update, Apple introduced software that “dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown” and with this new technology “users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance.” So you slow down our phones to make sure they don’t shutdown? Nice try, Apple, we see what you’re doing here.
Naturally, the response from iPhone users was pretty negative. People weren’t really buying the whole “for your own good” thing. Over the past week, several class action suits have been filed (one of them is suing Apple for $1 trillion) and there’s even a criminal suit from France where planned obsolescence is illegal. Apple usually completely ignores customer outrage (remember when everyone hated the iOS 7 update and they DID NOTHING?) but when you come for their money, they’re going to respond. They issued another statement Thursday apologizing for “letting customers down” and offering an olive branch.
While the company maintains that they would never “intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product… to drive customer upgrades,” they outlined some steps they’ll be taking to regain the public’s trust. Starting in late January, Apple is lowering the cost of out-of-warranty battery replacement for the iPhone 6 and later by $50 (from $79 USD to $29 USD). The statement is in American dollars, but it says the discount will be available worldwide until December 2018. In Canada, the cost of a battery replacement is regularly $99, so we can assume they will cost $49 for the year.
Around the same time as the discount takes effect, Apple will also be releasing an update to their iOS software that will allow users to check the health of their iPhone’s battery. This will apparently let you check if the condition of your battery is affecting your phone’s performance.