Update 12/30/17: Just a few days after Apple announced an offer to replace the battery in out-of-warranty iPhones for a reduced price, the company said in a note to TechCrunch that the offer is now available. Originally, Apple said that the $29 battery replacements would be available in January.
According to TechCrunch, Apple sent them a note that said that the company is “happy to offer our customers the lower pricing right away.” The catch is that “initial supplies of some replacement batteries may be limited.”
Apple on Thursday announced a price reduction in its iPhone battery replacement plan for owners of the iPhone 6 and later. The company is slashing the cost from $79 to $29, starting in late January 2018, with the offer ending in December 2018.
The price reduction is part of Apple’s response to the company’s recent revelation that iOS throttles CPU performance in iPhones with diminished battery capacity. Apple posted “A Message to Our Customers” on Apple.com on Thursday, which explores the hardware issues, Apple’s attempts to address those issues with iOS, and the backlash the company has received.
In addition to the battery replacement price reduction, Apple will release an iOS update with a feature that will “give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery,” allowing users to see how the battery affects performance.
Details on the battery replacement program will become available on Apple.com.
Improved power management causes slowdowns
With the release of iOS 10.2.1 about a year ago, Apple included improved power management that measured the battery’s available power capacity. If the capacity met a certain threshold, power management kicked in so that there were fewer performance peaks that take a toll on the battery. The adjustment was made to prevent unexpected shutdowns and to extend the overall life of a battery, but it also resulted in slower performance.
Apple admitted the performance throttling to TechCrunch earlier this month. In Apple’s Message on Thursday, the company said it has received user feedback since the fall about the slower performance, and that it believes the “continued chemical aging” of the original batteries in the iPhone 6 and 6s contributes to the performance issues.
Apple’s statement says that replacing the iPhone battery will fix the slower performance, and that the iPhone will return to normal. The company reiterated in its statement that the power management feature was meant to extend the life of an iPhone, not to push customers into buying the newest model. “ Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love,” said Apple in its statement, “and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.”