Almost a week after various users learned that Apple intentionally slows down older iPhone models to preserve battery life, the company apologised stating that Apple would never do anything to shorten the life of any product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.
‘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’, Apple said in a statement.
Apple further added that all rechargeable batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age and their ability to hold a charge diminishes. Time and the number of times a battery has been charged are not the only factors in this chemical aging process.
Device use also affects the performance of a battery over its lifespan. For example, leaving or charging a battery in a hot environment can cause a battery to age faster. These characteristics are common to lithium-ion batteries across the industry.
‘A chemically aged battery also becomes less capable of delivering peak energy loads, especially in a low state of charge, which may result in a device unexpectedly shutting itself down in some situations’, clarified Apple.
A year ago, Apple rolled software update in iOS 10.2.1 that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE. With the update, iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown. While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance.
‘Customer response to iOS 10.2.1 was positive’, Apple said, adding that the software update reduced unexpected shutdowns. The software update was later extended for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in iOS 11.2.
When a chemically aged battery is replaced with a new one, iPhone performance returns to normal when operated in standard conditions.
Based on user feedback, Apple initially thought that degrade in performance was due to a combination of two factors: a normal, temporary performance impact when upgrading the operating system as iPhone installs new software and updates apps and minor bugs in the initial release which have since been fixed.
But now Apple has confirmed that iPhone slowdowns was a result of continued chemical aging of the batteries in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices, many of which are still running on their original batteries.
To address customers’ concerns, to recognise their loyalty and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions, Apple has reduced the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 – from $79 to $29 – for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018.
Early next year, Apple plans to roll out an iOS software update with new features to give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.
‘At Apple, our customers’ trust means everything to us. We will never stop working to earn and maintain it. We are able to do the work we love only because of your faith and support — and we will never forget that or take it for granted’, added Apple.