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Apple has apologized for its iOS update that slowed older iPhones after users experienced a decline in performance after the release of later models. The company is offering replacement batteries at a discount to compensate consumers.

Though Apple initially denied the accusations, it eventually admitted that their iOS update slowed phones. To compensate customers, the company dropped prices on batteries for iPhone 6 and later models to $29. The discount is available through 2018 and then will return to its usual price of $79.

Apple explained the software update was intended to extend battery life in older phones, though many believed the company was trying to force people into upgrading to the latest model. There were even lawsuits filed regarding the manipulation of older model phones.

According to Apple, the upgrade feature will remain on its phones, but the next update will make it easier for users to manage the health of their iPhone’s battery.” Apple did not clarify if it will offer the option of switching the feature off.

The company also explained the slow down feature was intentional and designed to help with the management of power. It could prevent the older batteries from powering down automatically. In its apology, Apple claimed it would never take any intentional actions to shorten the life of its products or interfere in any negative way with the user experience.

Apple Users Experience iPhone Shutdowns

The explanation and apology come after a year of people experiencing unusual things with their iPhones.

Many users reported their phones were shut down despite having battery power left. Apple explained these unexpected shutdowns were caused by aging lithium-ion batteries, but not because the batteries were defective.

It was because of these shutdown issues that Apple included the iOS update that slowed phone operation during what it called “peak processing events,” to prevent phones from powering down.

The update affected a number of different phone models, including

  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6S Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus

Customers were not given an explanation at the time the updates were rolled out, nor were they told their phones would be altered in performance due to the update.

Reports of slowed device performance began in the fall of 2017, around the same time iOS 11 was released. Apple’s original explanation was that the issue was caused by “normal temporary lag” and “small bugs.”

Replacing a Battery in an iPhone

Apple explained the “chemical aging of batteries” was to blame for the slowing of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices. It indicated the batteries were never intended to last the life of a phone and are meant to be replaced. The problem is doing so can be complicated – not to mention expensive.

Switching an iPhone battery requires a trip to an Apple store or to send your phone to Apple. There are also third-party services that provide battery replacement. You have the option of ordering a DIY kit, but replacing the battery yourself voids the phone’s warranty.

Skeptical consumers believed Apple had created a situation in which iPhone users were forced to deal with a slow device, go through the expensive and complicated process of replacing the battery, or buying a new phone – the latter of which consumers believed was the ultimate goal.

Customers Accuse Apple of “Deceptive, Immoral, and Unethical” Practices

At least two groups of angry customers decided to take action against the company. They believed the efforts to slow the phone down were not only intentional but done to trick people into buying new phones. The allegations also claim iPhone users were forced into an upgrade they didn’t ask for.

iPhone users believe the company should have been more transparent and explained the need for the power management feature from the beginning. Keeping this information from customers for so long has sparked conspiracy theories and created distrust between Apple and its customer base.

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