Republican Senator John Thune, Chair of the U.S. Commerce Committee, has some questions for Apple over throttling old iPhones

“The chairman of the U.S. Senate’s commerce committee wants Apple to lift the veil on its once-secret slowdown of older iPhones,” The Associated Press reports. “Senator John Thune, a South Dakota Republican, issued his request for more information in a letter sent Tuesday to Apple CEO Tim Cook.”

“On Tuesday, Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, pressed Apple for answers to a series of questions about how the company decided to throttle back iPhone processing performance in phones with older batteries,” Tripp Mickle and John D. McKinnon report for The Wall Street Journal. “In a letter to Chief Executive Tim Cook, a copy of which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Thune asked how Apple has tracked customer complaints of processing performance and if Apple has explored offering rebates to customers who paid full price for a battery replacement before the company offered discounted rates last month.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook
“‘Apple’s proposed solutions have prompted additional criticism from some customers, particularly its decision not to provide free replacement batteries,’ wrote Mr. Thune, who requested answers by Jan. 23,” Mickle and McKinnon report. “Government scrutiny of the practice comes amid complaints from some customers about the rollout of Apple’s battery-replacement plan. Some customers have reported having to wait a week to schedule an appointment, while others voiced frustration that they showed up at an Apple Store for a scheduled replacement only to be told that the store was out of batteries.”

“At an Orlando-area store, John Terry, 53, arrived for a battery-replacement appointment and was told he would get an email when Apple had an iPhone 6 battery and he could return for a replacement,” Mickle and McKinnon report. “‘I would think they should have anticipated the demand they have had given the backlash, and they weren’t prepared for it,’ said Mr. Terry, a marketing consultant.”

MacDailyNews Take: Tim Cook’s Apple unprepared and failing to anticipate demand?


“Apple has said that winning back customers’ trust is paramount, and it has created a website advising people to call Apple support before visiting a store for a battery replacement,” Mickle and McKinnon report. “Analysts say the battery issues could have a significant financial impact for Apple. Barclay’s said in a note last week that Apple could sell 16 million fewer iPhones this year, and lose $10.29 billion in revenue, because of customers choosing to replace batteries instead of their iPhones.”

MacDailyNews Take: Which, of course, is precisely why some say Apple deigned to keep that information to themselves.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Senator Thune discusses the commerce letter to Apple CEO on Bloomberg:

How to easily check to see if Apple is throttling your iPhone – January 10, 2018
Class action lawsuits against Apple over iPhone throttling now number 30 – January 10, 2018
Republican U.S. Senator wants Apple to answer questions about slowing iPhones – January 10, 2018
French prosecutor launches probe into Apple planned obsolescence – January 8, 2018
Apple’s design decisions and iPhone batteries – January 8, 2018
Apple now faces over two dozen lawsuits for ‘purposefully’ or ‘secretly’ slowing down older iPhones – January 5, 2018
Why aging batteries don’t slow down Android phones like Apple iPhones – January 5, 2018
Apple’s $29 replacement batteries expected to hurt new iPhone sales – January 4, 2018
How to see if Apple’s throttling your iPhone – January 4, 2018
Brazilian agency requires Apple to inform consumers on batteries – January 3, 2018
Analyst: Apple’s ‘batterygate’ solution may mean 16 million fewer iPhones sold this year – January 3, 2018
An Apple conspiracy theory blooms – January 2, 2018
Apple clarifies policy on $29 battery replacements: All iPhone 6 and later devices are eligible – January 2, 2018
Why Apple’s response to iPhone ‘batterygate’ is brilliant – December 30, 2017
Australian lawyers to launch largest-ever class action against Apple over iPhone ‘batterygate’ – December 29, 2017
The most annoying things about Apple’s iPhone ‘batterygate’ apology – December 29, 2017
iFixit discounts iPhone battery replacement kits as Apple cuts prices, apologizes for the confusion – December 29, 2017
15 class action lawsuits filed against Apple for throttling iPhones with aging batteries – December 29, 2017
Apple apologizes for poor communication about iPhone batteries and performance; slashes battery replacement cost from $79 to $29 – December 28, 2017
No, Apple’s throttling of iPhones with aging batteries is not planned obsolescence – December 28, 2017
Apple execs face jail in France after lawsuit over slowing down iPhones – December 28, 2017
Korea seeks explanation from Apple for slowing down devices without warning – December 28, 2017
Apple now facing 8 lawsuits over throttling processors in iPhones with aging batteries – December 27, 2017
Apple tarnished their brand with clandestine iPhone battery management and processor throttling – December 27, 2017
Should Apple replace aging iPhone batteries for free instead of throttling processor speed? – December 21, 2017
Apple confirms iPhones with older batteries will take hits in performance – December 20, 2017
iPhone performance and battery age – December 18, 2017
Apple met with Chinese regulators to discuss iPhone 6s unexpected shutdowns – February 10, 2017
Rumor: Apple may extend iPhone 6s battery replacement program to iPhone 6 – January 17, 2017
A message from Apple about 
iPhone and unexpected shutdowns – December 2, 2016
Apple offers free battery replacement for ‘very small number’ of iPhone 6s units with unexpected shutdown issue – November 21, 2016


  1. It amazes me that Apple thought slowing down phones would go unnoticed… I don’t get it – isn’t it obvious that there would be backlash? That eventually it would be discovered?

    That said, I do think that $29 is a reasonable price for a battery replacement. All batteries wear out – expecting one for free is ridiculous.

    1. It’s really very simple, Tim Cook’s Apple doesn’t care. Tim Cook’s Apple exists for itself, you, dear consumer, are merely the device that sends Apple money. So, keep spending, ye faithful and be thankful for it.

  2. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    If Apple had not done anything, they’d have caught flack because battery life suffered (due to the fact that the phone’s processor couldn’t keep up with newer, more demanding software).
    And when Apple did do something to protect battery life (and let’s not forget… FIRST and FOREMOST it IS a PHONE for making phone calls)…. they catch flack.

    F’d no matter what!

  3. I have some questions for Senator Thune.

    The federal government has $20 trillion in debt, increasing at a rate of about $ trillion every 1.5 years, and you are doing zero to pay the debt or address the looming debt crisis, which will harm every single American. Why are you such a fuck up?

    2. The Obamacare system is destroying American healthcare. It is causing skyrocketing premiums for those who own small businesses and must pay for their own healthcare with the moronic Obamacare mandates. Yet, you have done zero with a Republican majority and Republican president to end Obamacare? Why do you help the government to harm its citizens this way?

    3. Most of what the Federal Government does, like Social Security and Medicare, are corrupt systems that are not actuarially honest. If a private insurance company did this, the executives would be in jail. Yet you do zero to fix this.

    Now, you decide you have the skill and standing to tell Apple, the maker of the greatest phone on the planet, how they should do their business. I would like you to either stop this and do your job (see above) or go to hell.

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