Apple published an open letter to its customers Thursday, apologizing for slowing down older iPhones and not being completely transparent on those measures. “We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down,” the company wrote. “We apologize.”
As a sign of goodwill, Apple also announced that it would temporarily reduce the price of battery replacements for affected phones. Anyone with an iPhone 6 or later will be able to replace the device’s battery for just $29, as opposed to the usual $79, in 2018.
Both the apology letter and the price cut were a reaction to a recent backlash against the company’s decision to slow down the peak performance of older iPhones via iOS software updates. The company has been saying that it instituted the performance throttling to prevent sudden shut-downs, which occurred when aging batteries weren’t able to fulfill peak performance power demands.
However, a number of Apple fans and critics alike took issue with the fact that the company never disclosed these slow-downs to its users, leaving some to argue that the company was slowing down phones to get consumers to upgrade to the latest models.
Apple contended Thursday that this wasn’t the case. “We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” the company said in its open letter. It also promised that it would soon issue a software update to give consumers an easier way to check the battery health of their phone, and learn on whether a battery update might improve performance.
Even with those measures, Apple won’t be able to put the whole matter to rest. The company is currently facing multiple lawsuits over slowing down iPhones, with plaintiffs alleging that it defrauded customers.