Ap­ple apol­o­gizes af­ter out­cry over older iPhones

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

SAN FRAN­CISCO — Fac­ing law­suits and con­sumer out­rage af­ter it said it slowed older iPhones with flag­ging bat­ter­ies, Ap­ple is slash­ing prices for bat­tery re­place­ments and will change its soft­ware to show users whether their phone bat­tery is good.

In a post­ing on its web­site on Thurs­day, Ap­ple apol­o­gized over its han­dling of the bat­tery is­sue and said it would make a num­ber of changes for cus­tomers “to rec­og­nize their loy­alty and to re­gain the trust of any­one who may have doubted Ap­ple’s in­ten­tions”.

Ap­ple made the move to ad­dress con­cerns about the qual­ity and dura­bil­ity of its prod­ucts at a time when it is charg­ing $999 for its new­est flag­ship model, the iPhone X.

The company said it would cut the price of an out-of-war­ranty bat­tery re­place­ment from $79 to $29 for an iPhone 6 or later, start­ing next month. The company will also up­date its iOS op­er­at­ing sys­tem to let users see whether their bat­tery is in poor health and is af­fect­ing the phone’s per­for­mance.

“We know that some of you feel Ap­ple has let you down,” the state­ment said. “We apol­o­gize.”

On Dec 20, Ap­ple ac­knowl­edged that iPhone soft­ware has the ef­fect of slow­ing down some phones with bat­tery prob­lems. Ap­ple said the prob­lem was that ag­ing lithium bat­ter­ies de­liv­ered power un­evenly, which could cause iPhones to shut­down un­ex­pect­edly to pro­tect the del­i­cate cir­cuits in­side.

That dis­clo­sure played on a com­mon belief among con­sumers that Ap­ple pur­posely slows down older phones to en­cour­age cus­tomers to buy newer iPhone mod­els.

While no cred­i­ble ev­i­dence has ever emerged that Ap­ple has en­gaged in such con­duct, the bat­tery dis­clo­sure struck a nerve.

Ap­ple on Thurs­day de­nied that it has ever done any­thing to in­ten­tion­ally shorten the life of a prod­uct.

At least eight law­suits have been filed in Cal­i­for­nia, New York and Illi­nois, al­leg­ing that the company de­frauded users by slow­ing de­vices down with­out warn­ing them.

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