Apple began this practice when it released iOS 10.2.1 previous year, to stop the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE from shutting down from troubling power circumstances like cold weather, low battery charge or battery aging.
It remains to be seen how things will pan out for Apple, but it doesn't look good at this point. "We apologize", Apple said on its website on Thursday.
Beginning in January, and lasting through next December, customers with out of warranty iPhones, including the iPhone 6 and later, will be able to purchase a replacement battery for $29 - $50 off the usual price. "We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down", the unsigned letter (https://www.apple.com/iphone-battery-and-performance/) said.
Apple is apologizing to its customers after reports it intentionally slowed older phones to get customers to upgrade to new ones. Apple explains that aged batteries can result in random shutdowns, and to avoid such shutdowns, the company throttles a phone's peak performance, according to a newly published support article.
We've been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process.
The mea culpa comes after lawsuits and the company's explanation earlier this month that it deploys software updates to compensate for degraded batteries in older iPhones.
The company confirmed the slowdown last week, but said it was part of a power management feature meant to prevent older batteries from shutting down suddenly.
The company's confirmation of a long-suspected phenomenon triggered class-action, breach-of-contract lawsuits. However, it did so without actually saying anything about the feature to iPhone users.
Apple said in the statement it initially thought the problems were caused by temporary lags and bugs after updating operating systems, but later attributed them to battery performance. The technique was first pushed out for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE, but has since been released for the iPhone 7 generation of phones in anticipation of their batteries naturally aging, too.
The company says it will also release another software update early next year, giving iPhone users the ability to check on the health of their device's battery and performance.