Apple apologizes after outcry over slowed iPhones

FILE PHOTO: Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in Tokyo, Japan
FILE PHOTO: The Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in Tokyo June 26, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo

December 29, 2017

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) – Facing lawsuits and consumer outrage after it said it slowed older iPhones with flagging batteries, Apple Inc <AAPL.O> 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 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 also will 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,” Apple said in its posting. “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 shut down 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 engaged in such conduct, the battery disclosure struck a nerve on social media and elsewhere.

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. The company also faces a legal complaint in France, where so-called “planned obsolesce” is against the law.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Andrew Hay)

  • Darrell M.

    Oh yeah I almost forgot. They put out the phone and worry about
    the problems later instead of doing it right the first time. They do
    this everytime. When will people learn. Way Way overpriced. Who
    are the suckers that buy them? What idiots. You would think that
    they would learn. Must be millieniums and Democrats

  • Darrell M.

    You wanna know why Apple is not selling that stupid overpriced piece of crap?
    Because that is just what it is. Overpriced and a piece of crap.

  • intimeforthedime

    ENGINEERED OBSOLESCENCE

    Using the programming code to turn on/off internal settings no one but Apple knows exists to slow the CPU down or drain the battery life.
    Easy way to make you have to upgrade to a newer model. Right now they want you to upgrade every other model. One day they will force you to upgrade every model.

    No one thinks this can be possible because 99% of people who use an iPhone thinks it is Alien Technology or Magic. They have no idea how easy it is to do what Apple has been doing with the IOS revisions.

  • intimeforthedime

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

    Really? Any iPhone owner knows that statement is a lie. So why does EVERY iPhone owner I know ALLLLL say that their phones worked great, batteries would last days until the latest IOS release..any IOS release.

    It is apparent that Apple creates battery drains on older iPhones though the IOS revisions to get you into the next model iPhone.
    I know tons of people who will NOT update their IOS because they do not want their phones to become obsolete by Apple screwing them through the software updates.

  • peanut1000

    Apple slowed down the iPad Air also.

  • LP in AK

    Never mind slow down, my iPhone and iPad both suddenly can’t swipe or tap in the corners. I think it’s criminal to damage someone’s property-which is what programming damaging code amounts to.

    • All American

      That we pay dearly for. Pure evil!

  • JaySands1234

    I’ve owned a few but my next phone is a GALAXY screw apple.

  • whoselineisitanyway

    I know a excellent IT guy and he used to cuss a blue streak, because of Apple products trying to make them connect w/the Master network. (UNIVERSITY SETTING)

  • photonblaster

    It’s not that they do crap, it’s that they intentionally do crap. Brake the abuse addiction, buy android.

  • photonblaster

    And yet the abused customers will be right back outside the apple store when they ring that new phone bell.

  • a voice of concern

    HOGWASH
    This was a calculated effort to screw up peoples phones to goad them into buying new phones.
    I have an Iphone 4 and the Battery works fine and about a month ago I had some FORCED UPDATE DOWNLOAD and after that ALL of my APPS take 5 times longer to work. Even getting a weather update takes minutes.
    APPLE SUCKS. I WANT MY PHONE PERFORMANCE BACK AND I DON’T NEED A NEW BATTERY.

    • intimeforthedime

      Yes, there is reason why you are not able to delete the new updates and load an older update.
      And a reason why the updates are confusing to say “NO” I do not want to load you, stop freaking asking.

  • airstart

    I bought a Apple 8 series just before they came out with the 10’s, It’s a POS. It will do everything one can imagine EXCEPT MAKE AND RECEIVE CALLS. I wish I had my old antiquated phone back. It didn’t have internet capability, but I never, or rarely use internet on my phone. My old phone did all I needed it to do, texting, calling, lists, notes, weather etc, This apple pos I’ve got now is so geekified you need to be as brain dead and illogical as a millennial to even translate the stupid little pictures. My wi-fy at home interferes with the phone calling function, so I have to get out of range or shut down my router to call.

    • All American

      Wowsie! Good to know. I never agree to the upgrade notifications sent by Apple.

  • Tango Uniform

    That apology and $300M might increase their brand value.

    • All American

      PURE & SIMPLE GREED!
      And we are supposed to trust this company with all of our personal info?? This event shows their true colors!

  • Trzo9veuha

    “Outcry and 5 major lawsuits” causes apple to apologize about their misdeeds. There’s an old adage, If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, when will you find time to fix it later. Apple screwedthepooch big time. Apology too late. Reason # 5,739 to never own an apple product.

    • Sane_Person37

      Partially agree. All the computer companies do this.

  • Buster

    “It’s better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission.”

    • Todd McCain

      not better…easier.