Apple Inc. announced Thursday that it will temporarily lower the price of replacing iPhone batteries, hoping to ease the backlash over its acknowledgment that it deliberately slowed down older-model iPhones.
The announcement — along with an apology — came less than two weeks after the company said that in order to prevent iPhones with aging batteries from drawing too much power and abruptly shutting down, it issued software updates to “smooth out” the power flow. Such smoothing can cause apps to launch more slowly and otherwise hinder the devices’ performance.
Since last week’s announcement, iPhone owners have filed at least 10 class-action lawsuits against Apple, saying the company’s choice to keep quiet about that software led them to buy newer, more expensive iPhones instead of just replacing the batteries. Some accused the company of fraud.
Apple pushed back. “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 Cupertino, Calif., company said Thursday.
Starting in early January and lasting through December of next year, Apple said, it will charge only $29 to replace the battery of an iPhone 6 or later whose warranty has expired. That’s $50 less than the current price of a battery replacement.
It also said it will release a software update that enables iPhone users to see whether their batteries’ condition is affecting the performance of their phones.