Apple cuts price of replacement iPhone 6 batteries

The iPhone 6 and newer models will no longer need to fail a hardware test to be eligible

(Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Apple says it will offer battery replacements on iPhone 6 smartphones and later models regardless of whether they fail a hardware diagnostic test or not, reports Mac Rumors.

Last week the tech giant more than halved the cost of its in-store battery replacements, the website says, after it admitted to deliberately slowing down iPhones in order to offset battery problems.

To quality for a free replacement, customers with an iPhone 6 or later would initially have had to fail Apple’s hardware diagnostic tests (a piece of software that proves the device is faulty), The Verge says, but the firm did not clarify how such tests would be measured.

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This led to confusion over the weekend, according to the website, when some customers were “denied” a new battery after their mobiles passed the company’s tests, which indicated no fault with the device.

The tech giant has now told Mac Rumors that all customers with an iPhone 6 or later version, who want to replace their battery for the discounted fee of £25, can do so even if their device passes the hardware tests.

The rumour site says that Apple will also offer a refund, upon request, to those who had their battery replaced at full price before the discounts were introduced on 30 December.

According to Trusted Reviews, the cut-price battery replacement programme will run until the end of December 2018.

Apple confirms it deliberately slows down old iPhones

21 December

Apple has acknowledged what many have long suspected. The company slows down older iPhone models on purpose in order to stop users from experiencing technical problems caused by ageing batteries.

The tech giant revealed in a statement, reported by Tech Crunch, that it released an update to its iOS operating system last year for its iPhone 6, 6S and SE products. This reduces performance in certain circumstances to prevent devices from “unexpectedly shutting down”.

The company says it has extended the feature to the iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2 and plans to “add support” for other products in the future.

The news comes a day after the slow-down feature was highlighted in a study by the technology watchdog Geekbench.

The research reveals that iPhones “of different ages” experience significant dips in performance when they require large amounts of processing power, The Guardian reports.

Installing a brand new battery in an older model sees performance return to normal speeds, the newspaper says.

“It’s easy to run with the idea that this is Apple intentionally slowing down older iPhones in an effort to push more users to upgrade to the latest iPhone every year,” argues 9to5 Mac.

But Alphr says Apple’s claims are correct as lithium-ion batteries can deteriorate over time.

Older iPhones could risk being damaged or randomly shutting down if the company hasn’t introduced performance-throttling software updates, the tech site says.

iPhone 6 and 6S users had similar issues last year, says Alphr, before Apple rectified the “widespread problem” by releasing the speed-limiting software update.

Apple ‘deliberately slows’ old iPhones as batteries wear out

20 December

New analysis of Apple’s old iPhones has reignited the debate over whether the tech firm deliberately slows down its outgoing models.

Technology watchdog Geekbench has found that the Cupertino-based company’s iPhone 6 and 7 smartphones get slower once their batteries begin to deteriorate.

The study found that certain versions of Apple’s iOS operating software cause phones with worn batteries to “achieve much lower performance scores” than their newer counterparts with fresher battery packs, The Daily Telegraph reports.

This suggests that Apple may be throttling the processor performance of older iPhones to prolong their battery life, the newspaper says, as charging capacity decreases with age.

The drop in performance has been traced back to a software patch issued to correct the random shutdown issues that affected iPhone 6 and 6S devices earlier this year, the Daily Mail says.

The performance of the iPhone 7, released at the end of 2016, has also dropped following this month’s iOS 11.2 update, according to The Guardian.

The issue appears to be rectified by getting affected batteries replaced by Apple, says Geekbench, but iPhone users may conclude that their handset is out of date and that they need to buy a new one.

This is not the first time Apple has been accused of slowing down its older products.

In September 2015, The Guardian reported that researchers had found that the company’s iPhone 4s, 5 and 5s smartphones “demonstrated a noticeable amount of slowdown” following the then-new iOS 9 software update.

The study revealed that older iPhones running iOS 9 took longer to start up, as well as a noticeable drop in camera performance and a slowdown when switching between apps, the newspaper said.

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