Apple Apologizes for Slowing Down Your Old iPhone

“We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product,” company says in an open letter

Last Updated: December 28, 2017 @ 6:53 PM

That whole slowing down iPhones with old batteries thing? It was all a “misunderstanding,” according to Apple in a letter released to customers on Thursday.

“We’ve been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process,” the letter states. “We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize.”

The world’s biggest tech company has been under fire recently, after commenters on Reddit and Twitter noticed Apple had been apparently “throttling” older iPhones. To critics, the covert slowdown reeked of Apple trying to force customers to upgrade to newer devices. Apple said last week it was due to a problem with its lithium-ion batteries degrading over time, which caused phones to unexpectedly shutdown during peak usage. On Thursday, the company expanded on the issue.

“About a year ago in iOS 10.2.1, we delivered a software update 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,” Apple said in its letter. “While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance.”

The company said it’ll offer battery replacements for $29, rather than the usual $79 charge, for iPhone 6 users or later, starting next month. Apple also said it’ll be adding an iOS feature to gauge battery health in early 2018. That almost makes up for not being more transparent about the battery issue in the first place.

You can read the full letter here.