iBankCoin
Wake up. Break the cycle. Teach your children.
Joined Oct 24, 2016
1,143 Blog Posts

Apple Apologizes For Batterygate – Claims “Would Never” Force Upgrades By Degrading Older Products

After getting busted last week for purposefully throttling its older iPhones, Apple, Inc. issued a second statement on the matter – this time an apology: “We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize,” the company said, adding “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 culprit, says Apple, is degrading older batteries which can’t handle the demands of newer processors. To make up for their throttling, which only came to light after they were BUSTED, the company is now offering the following (full letter below):

  • Reducing 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, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018. Details will be provided soon on apple.com.
  • Early in 2018, we will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.
  • 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.

In early December, Reddit user TeckFire posted a report in the iPhone subreddit, noting that after experiencing a painful slowdown on his iPhone 6S, a brand new battery resulted in significant improvement in benchmark scores – as can be seen in photos posted to the thread:

After testing performed by Geekbench developer John Poole, it was indeed confirmed that iPhones were being throttled to preserve battery life or avoid unexpected shutdowns while the battery degrades.

The Cupertino, CA company responded to the internet sleuths, admitting in a statement “Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.”

Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future,” said the company.

As TechCrunch explained:

Basically, iPhones were hitting peaks of processor power that the battery was unable to power and the phones were shutting off. Apple then added power management to all iPhones at the time that would “smooth out” those peaks by either capping the power available from the battery or by spreading power requests over several cycles. This is clearly shown in Poole’s charts in his post:

Many pointed out how bad it looks for Apple – which has been accused of throttling older phones to make them buy new ones, was caught throttling phones. No matter how legitimate the reason, the fact that they were caught – and forced to admit – is going to fuel conspiracy theories for a while.

To recap: due to battery performance degradation issues, the power demands of the iPhone processor was causing shutoff issues. To solve this, Apple secretly throttled their phones in order to avoid the issue… and were caught by internet sleuths before issuing a statement with their tail between their legs.

Apple’s full letter below (link):

A Message to Our Customers about iPhone Batteries and Performance

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. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize. 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.

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. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.

How batteries age

All rechargeable batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age and their ability to hold a charge diminishes. Time and the number of times a battery has been charged are not the only factors in this chemical aging process.

Device use also affects the performance of a battery over its lifespan. For example, leaving or charging a battery in a hot environment can cause a battery to age faster. These are characteristics of battery chemistry, common to lithium-ion batteries across the industry.

A chemically aged battery also becomes less capable of delivering peak energy loads, especially in a low state of charge, which may result in a device unexpectedly shutting itself down in some situations.

To help customers learn more about iPhone’s rechargeable battery and the factors affecting its performance, we’ve posted a new support article, iPhone Battery and Performance.

It should go without saying that we think sudden, unexpected shutdowns are unacceptable. We don’t want any of our users to lose a call, miss taking a picture or have any other part of their iPhone experience interrupted if we can avoid it.

Preventing unexpected shutdowns

About a year ago in iOS 10.2.1, we 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.

Customer response to iOS 10.2.1 was positive, as it successfully reduced the occurrence of unexpected shutdowns. We recently extended the same support for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in iOS 11.2.

Of course, when a chemically aged battery is replaced with a new one, iPhone performance returns to normal when operated in standard conditions.

Recent user feedback

Over the course of this fall, we began to receive feedback from some users who were seeing slower performance in certain situations. Based on our experience, we initially thought this was due to a combination of two factors: a normal, temporary performance impact when upgrading the operating system as iPhone installs new software and updates apps, and minor bugs in the initial release which have since been fixed.

We now believe that another contributor to these user experiences is the continued chemical aging of the batteries in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices, many of which are still running on their original batteries.

Addressing customer concerns

We’ve always wanted our customers to be able to use their iPhones as long as possible. We’re proud that Apple products are known for their durability, and for holding their value longer than our competitors’ devices.

To address our customers’ concerns, to recognize their loyalty and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions, we’ve decided to take the following steps:

  • Apple is reducing 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, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018. Details will be provided soon on apple.com.
  • Early in 2018, we will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.
  • 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.

At Apple, our customers’ trust means everything to us. We will never stop working to earn and maintain it. We are able to do the work we love only because of your faith and support — and we will never forget that or take it for granted.

If you enjoy the content at iBankCoin, please follow us on Twitter

4 comments

  1. sarcrilege

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

    • 0
    • 0
    • 0 Deem this to be "Fake News"
  2. Metalleg

    Funny how everyone’s iPhone batteries wore out just as the iPhone X was launched.

    • 0
    • 0
    • 0 Deem this to be "Fake News"
  3. Zach

    I was in the middle of reporting a drunk driver via 911, when their software upgrade notification interrupted the call and forced me to pull over to the side of the road to deal with it because I could not be hands free. At one point I was getting this notification 6-7 times per day, and each time I declined. They don’t even give you an option to shut off this notification. I told them I was reporting the incident to the Consumer Product Safety Comission because it interrupted an emergency call to ask me if I wanted my software updated.

    • 1
    • 0
    • 0 Deem this to be "Fake News"
  4. The Maven

    Another opportunity to add on a dip.

    • 0
    • 0
    • 0 Deem this to be "Fake News"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *