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Accused of Slowing Old iPhones, Apple Offers Battery Discounts


Apple addressed criticism that it throttles the performance of iPhones with aging batteries to prevent device shutdowns with an apology that includes reducing the price of battery replacements by $ 50. The issue affects mainly the iPhone 6 series and iPhone SE. Credit Vincent Yu/Associated Press

Facing a barrage of criticism after acknowledging the existence of a feature that can reduce the processing power of old iPhones, Apple said Thursday that it would reduce the price of battery replacements to regain customers’ trust.

The company’s mea culpa came just eight days after Apple said it had released a feature about a year ago meant to help prevent older devices — such as iPhone 6 models and iPhone SE — from unexpectedly shutting down.

The reduction of processing power, Apple said, was necessary because older batteries could otherwise periodically overload.

But some users saw Apple’s revelation as vindication of their longstanding belief that the company had been purposely slowing down old iPhones to get them to buy new ones.

In its statement on Thursday, Apple denied that it had ever — or would ever — “do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”

Still, Apple apologized for what it called a “misunderstanding” and promised it would cut the price of out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements to $ 29 from $ 79 for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later model beginning in late January; the company said the service would be available worldwide through December 2018.

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