Apple apologises for iPhone slowdown, clarifies issue

It says the software tweak was to preserve battery life, not to force upgrades

Following the furore over Apple's admission that it intentionally slows down older iPhones, the company has released a statement to address the issue.

Battery prices slashed

In it, it claimed the slowdowns were not part of a forced obsolecence strategy:

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.

According to the company, a tweak in iOS 10.2.1 managed the performance of "some system components" to prevent sudden shutdowns. Apple said that the degradation to older batteries would in the past lead to shutdowns and the tweak was aimed at preventing that. 

Some users, Apple noted, had experienced a hit to performance while others had not noticed the change. The tweak was targeted at older models, namely the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and the iPhone SE. That same tweak was also added to iOS 11.2 for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

A new battery will fix affected phones, and in an attempt to address customer concerns, Apple has slashed the price of battery replacements worldwide (for the iPhone 6s onwards). We contacted an Apple rep who confirmed local pricing for the battery replacements is S$38, down from the usual S$118.

Apple will also release an iOS software update in 2018 that will let users see just how their battery is doing and note how much it affects performance.