Did Apple intentionally shorten the life of iPhones to encourage people to upgrade to newer versions of their product?
The evidence says so, according to lawsuits and customer complaints slamming Apple, which has responded with an apology and price cuts and software changes to let iPhone users know they’re sorry.
“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down,” Apple posted on its website Thursday. “We apologize.”
At issue are allegations the company cheated customers by using software updates to slow down iPhones with defective batteries without prior notice instead of offering free battery replacements.
“Rather than curing the battery defect by providing a free battery replacement for all affected iPhones, Apple sought to mask the battery defect,” says one of the lawsuits.
In a pivot, the company said it would reduce the price to replace a battery that is out-of-warranty by $50 (to $29) for iPhone 6 and later versions from January. Apple also said it would add features to the iOS operating system that let users see if their battery is defective and causing poor phone performance or not.
The sudden move comes at a time when the company’s asking price for its newest model iPhone X is $999.
Lawsuits and official complaints have been filed in California, New York, Illinois, and as far away as Israel and France.