A little over a week after acknowledging that iOS slows down iPhones with weak batteries to prevent crashes, Apple has apologized for leaving some customers feeling let down. It’s also stressing that the previously unacknowledged slowdowns were not part of a conspiracy to nudge owners of older devices into plunking down money for new ones.
Most important, the company is taking some steps to inform iPhone owners and placate unhappy campers. It says that it will roll out an iOS update early next year which will provide users with more information about the health of their phone’s battery. And from late January through the end of 2018, it will charge just $29 to swap out the aging battery of an out-of-warranty iPhone 6 or more recent model for a new one–$50 off its normal fee, and less than going to a third-party shop.
Apple apologizing and throwing displeased customers a bone is not new (see: Antennagate). But its letter about the slowdown provides more context than usual–and admits that it was slow to understand that a meaningful number of consumers noticed that their phones were growing more sluggish. Here’s hoping that when the company makes these sorts of tradeoffs in the future, it explains them up front so that nobody can accuse it of being sneaky or take it to court.