Consumers are not happy with Apple’s admission that it intentionally slowed down older iPhones to keep up with declining batteries
Apple has now apologized for slowing down older iPhones as their batteries age, which could lead you to ask, “What does this mean to me and my iPhone?”
The device maker says it has been using software updates to help prolong the life of batteries in several models including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The fix helped “avoid unexpected shutdowns” and protected the phones, Apple says, but also caused some phones to take longer to launch apps and do other functions.
As awareness of the slowdown spread, some consumers filed lawsuits charging the Cupertino, Calif. tech company with deliberately sabotaging older smartphones to prompt new sales.
If your iPhone seems slow, buying a new one isn’t your only option. You could instead replace the battery. To appease customers Apple is lowering the price of replacement batteries for iPhone 6 models or later from $79 to $29.
At first, Apple said it would start offering the replacement batteries in late January and through 2018. But the company now says it will begin replacing batteries at the lower price now. “We expected to need more time to be ready, but we are happy to offer our customers the lower pricing right away. Initial supplies of some replacement batteries may be limited,” said Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller.
►How do I know if I need to replace the battery?
Apple says in early 2018 it plans to issue an iPhone software update with new features that let you see if your battery is affecting performance.
For now you can do some initial checking. First, on your iPhone go to Settings and then to Battery. There you may see a message that says, “Your iPhone battery may need to be serviced.”
If you want additional information on your battery, you can download a battery information app such as Battery Life from the App Store (see a YouTube video here) or Coconut Batteryon a Macbook. With your iPhone plugged into the computer, it will give you a rundown on your iPhone’s battery.
►I want to replace my iPhone battery now. What are my options?
Apple says that if your battery retains less than 80% of its original capacity and you’re covered under AppleCare+, the company will replace your battery at no charge. Check your warranty status at https://checkcoverage.apple.com.
If it’s not currently under warranty, you will need to pay Apple. It may be a few weeks before Apple begins officially replacing batteries at reduced rate. So if you don’t want to wait for the $50 price drop, you can contact Apple online and send your phone in for battery replacement for $79 plus $6.95 for shipping. Apple says this usually takes three to five business days.
Another alternative is to go to a nearby Apple store where the battery could be replaced on site, perhaps more quickly. However, when I checked online, the first appointment available at my closest Apple store was 48 hours away.
If your iPhone is not covered by warranty, you could try to replace the battery yourself. Tech site iFixit.com has guides to replace batteries on various iPhone models and links to the batteries needed. Though note that having a non-Apple approved battery replacement could void your warranty.
Evidently, many iPhone owners are going that route. iFixit.com says more than 509,000 iPhone users have viewed the site’s battery replacement guides this month.