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Apple responds to controversy by offering discount on iPhone battery replacement

Apple’s image has taken a beating of late due to the controversy over its admission that it throttles the performance of its older devices in order to preserve their batteries.

The company was responding after a rogue developer went public with a performance test of Apple’s iOS 10.2.1 and 11.2.0 updates on the battery life of the iPhone 6S and 7. The tests purportedly proved that Apple’s updates were responsible for slowing the performance of older devices.

RELATED: Why Apple throttles performance on old iPhones & and how to prolong your battery life

The news was met shock and anger as many Apple fans questioned the motives of the company. What followed was a slew of lawsuits that accused the company of acting in bad faith by leading consumers, in many cases, to buy new phones when puzzling slowdowns hampered the performance of their old devices.

Some legal experts suggested that Apple may have exposed itself to class-action litigation if it could be proven that it acted in bad faith by not informing customers of the true reason behind the issues with their phones.

Now Apple seems to have gotten the message loud and clear. In a news release Thursday, the company apologized for what it called “misunderstanding” after getting significant customer flack.

“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. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. There’s been a lot of misunderstanding about this issue, so we would like to clarify and let you know about some changes we’re making.”

The company still steadfastly denies that it slowed down the devices to spur people to buy newer versions.

“First and foremost, 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. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”

To make amends, Apple says it is doing the following:

  • Starting in January, Apple is cutting the price on all out-of-warranty iPhone replacement batteries for iPhone 6 models or later by $50 — from $79 to $29.
  • Apple also vows to be more transparent going forward about how users can gauge the health of its devices. “Early in 2018, we will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance,” the company said.

So it looks like Apple is trying to do the right thing, although it remains to be seen how this ordeal will reshape the view of the company in consumers’ minds. One thing is for sure, the next time a new update becomes available, older iPhone users will be paying attention to their devices like never before.

RELATED: Apple faces criticism, lawsuits over allegations of throttling old iPhones

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