Apple has apologised to customers for deliberately slowing down iPhones, although it said this was done to prolong the lifespan of its devices.
The company first admitted to slowing older models earlier this month, after facing a slew of accusations.
Now the tech giant has issued a statement on its website in which it admitted that a software update delivered last year, aimed at improving power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on certain models, may have been the reason some users experienced “longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance”.
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 apologise. 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 update was released on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE models.
The group said: “Over the course of this fall, we began to receive feedback from some users who were seeing slower performance in certain situations. Based on our experience, we initially thought this was due to a combination of two factors: a normal, temporary performance impact when upgrading the operating system as iPhone installs new software and updates apps, and minor bugs in the initial release which have since been fixed.”
Apple added that it believes “another contributor to these user experiences is the continued chemical aging of the batteries in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices, many of which are still running on their original batteries”.
The company said it would take the following steps to “address our customers’ concerns, to recognise their loyalty and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions”:
It’s reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 – from $79 to $29 – for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018.
Early in 2018, the company 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 team is working on ways to make the user experience even better, including improving how it manages performance and avoid unexpected shutdowns as batteries age.
Apple’s apology comes one day after it emerged that chief executive Tim Cook landed a major pay rise (it was up 47 per cent from the previous year) off the back of a great year for iPhone sales.