After facing widespread criticism for admitting that it deliberately slows down ageing iPhone models, Apple has formally apologised to the global iPhone community.
“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologise,” Apple said in a statement late on Thursday.
Apple has also reduced 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.
The offer starts in late January and will be available worldwide through December 2018.
The slowing down issue affects older models, including iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7.
“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 Cupertino-based iPhone maker said.
“First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades,” the company added.
To help customers learn more about iPhone’s rechargeable battery and the factors affecting its performance, Apple has posted a new support article titled “iPhone Battery and Performance” on its website.
About a year ago in iOS 10.2.1, Apple delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and iPhone SE.
With the update, iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown.
“While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance,” Apple acknowledged.
Apple also extended the same support for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in iOS 11.2.
However, the company began to receive feedback from some users who were seeing slower performance in certain situations.
“We now believe that another contributor to these user experiences is the continued chemical ageing of the batteries in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices, many of which are still running on their original batteries,” Apple said.
Early in 2018, Apple will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery.
“As always, our team is working on ways to make the user experience even better, including improving how we manage performance and avoid unexpected shutdowns as batteries age,” the company said.
The firm has had eight separate lawsuits in the US filed against it over the matter, and had also been facing additional legal action in Israel and France.
Apple acknowledged earlier in December that it does deliberately slow down some models of the iPhone as they age.
In November, Apple was forced to release an update to fix a security issue with its Mac operating system that made it possible to gain entry to a device and administrative powers without a password.