Apple says sorry, slashes battery replacement price

Apple will offer battery replacements for $38 until December next year for anyone with an iPhone 6 or newer model. It will also update its iOS system to let users see whether their battery is in poor health.
Apple will offer battery replacements for $38 until December next year for anyone with an iPhone 6 or newer model. It will also update its iOS system to let users see whether their battery is in poor health.PHOTO: REUTERS

It lowers cost from $118 to $38 until Dec 2018 amid outrage that it slowed older iPhones

Tech giant Apple is slashing prices for battery replacements and will change its software to inform users about the health of their phone batteries. This comes in the wake of lawsuits and public outrage after Apple said it slowed older iPhones.

The firm will lower the price of battery replacements - currently $118 here - to $38.

This price will be offered from late next month to December next year for anyone with an iPhone 6 or newer model.

Apple will also update its iOS operating system to let users see whether their battery is in poor health and is affecting the phone's performance.

Writing on its website on Thursday, the company apologised for how it handled the battery issue, adding that it would make the changes for customers "to recognise their loyalty and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple's intentions".

It said: "We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologise."

Last week, Apple acknowledged that iPhone software slows down some phones with battery problems. It said the problem was that ageing lithium batteries delivered power unevenly, which could cause iPhones to shut down automatically to protect the delicate circuits inside.

In another post published on Thursday, Apple wrote: "While this shutdown is intentional from the device perspective, it may be unexpected by the user."

The tech giant's disclosure echoed a belief that the company purposely slows down its older phones to encourage users to buy newer iPhone models.

There has been no evidence to prove this, but the disclosure struck a nerve both online and offline - at least eight lawsuits have been filed in the United States.

Apple, however, denied that it ever intentionally shortened the life span of its products.

In Singapore, iPhone user Jollin Tan said that Apple should have found a way to fix the problems older iPhone models faced without impacting their performance.

After learning about the heavily discounted battery replacements, Ms Tan, who works in the private education sector, said that she would still replace her phone's battery only if she really had to.

"It is very troublesome to back up your data, go down to the Apple store and send your iPhone for the replacement," said Ms Tan, 24.

She has used iPhones for five years, and currently owns the iPhone 7. She said that despite this battery debacle, she would continue using the iPhone. "I like the aesthetics of it."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2017, with the headline 'Apple says sorry, slashes battery replacement price'. Print Edition | Subscribe