Batterygate: Apple offers $50 refund for iPhone batteries replaced in 2017

“Apple Inc. will give a partial refund to some customers who paid full price for iPhone battery replacements in 2017, its latest benefit to placate owners since disclosing it began curbing the performance of some of its smartphones last year to preserve battery life,” Tripp Mickle reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“The technology giant Wednesday said it would give a $50 credit to customers who replaced the battery in an iPhone 6 or older model between Jan. 1 and Dec. 28, 2017,” Mickle reports. “The refund will reduce the cost of the battery replacement from $79 to $29, the rate Apple began offering in late December.”

“Apple said it would contact eligible customers by email over the next two months with instructions for obtaining the credit,” Mickle reports. “The refund offer comes more than two months after Apple wrote a letter to Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, saying it would consider providing rebates to customers. Mr. Thune had asked Apple about the possibilities of a rebate in a letter in January.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The fallout continues.

There’s no excusing this one. Apple deserves the ongoing headache. Hopefully, when all is said and done and paid, the company will have learned an important lesson about transparency and communication with their customers.MacDailyNews, February 27, 2018

You can see why some think that Apple wanted to keep what they were doing a secret. If people knew that a $79 battery replacement would give them an iPhone that performed like it did on day one, a meaningful percentage would take that option versus buying a new iPhone. Now that it’s just $29 this year, that percentage will naturally increase.

Then again, as Hanlon’s razor states: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

Apple’s made up of people. People are imperfect. We’ll take Apple’s word for it that they “always wanted… customers to be able to use their iPhones as long as possible” and that they “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.” — MacDailyNews, January 3, 2018

Again, it’s Apple’s lack of communication that is the problem here. If Apple had clearly explained what was going on in the software, we’d know to recommend a battery replacement when users complained their older iPhones were getting “slow.” As it was, we were pretty much left to assume that the processor/RAM wasn’t up to par with demands of newer iOS releases and we’d naturally recommend getting a new iPhone.

Just yesterday, we had a friend complain that his iPhone 6 was acting “slow” and we knew to recommend a battery replacement (even though he instead opted to get himself an iPhone X on our strong recommendation).MacDailyNews, December 29, 2017

As has almost always been the case with Apple, unfortunately, transparency comes later, not sooner, and usually as a reaction to negative publicity. A simple Knowledge Base article would have preempted all of this Reddit sleuthing and the attendant handwringing and erroneous presumptions.MacDailyNews, December 20, 2017

Apple facing complaints over its iPhone battery-replacement pledge – May 3, 2018
Batterygate: Israeli agency investigating Apple over handling of iPhone slowdown – April 10, 2018
Batterygate: Dozens of iPhone throttling lawsuits filed against Apple look set for consolidation – February 27, 2018
Apple now faces more than 60 class action lawsuits over iPhone batterygate – February 26, 2018
Getting a new iPhone battery is often a frustrating, weeks-long process – February 20, 2018
Apple tells U.S. Senate company may offer rebates for battery purchases amid iPhone blowback – February 6, 2018
Apple previews iOS 11.3 with new battery health features, ability to turn processor throttling on and off, and more – January 24, 2018
Tim Cook: ‘Maybe we should have been clearer’ over throttling iPhones with aging batteries – January 18, 2018
China consumer group seeks answers from Apple over batterygate – January 16, 2018
South Korean consumer group considering criminal case against Apple over iPhone batterygate – January 11, 2018
Republican Senator John Thune, Chair of the U.S. Commerce Committee, has some questions for Apple over throttling old 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


  1. I have yet to any evidence of shady action or intent by Apple. I have yet to see and evidence that Apple failed to honor any phone battery issue that was under warranty. Apple’s only faults were in failing to adequately describe its throttling technique, which actually enables iPhones batteries to work longer without replacement than would otherwise be possible, and in failing to provide more thorough insight and notification into battery functionality to the user.

    I have an iPhone 5s that is *still* working pretty darn well after many years and a huge number of recharge cycles. My experience over four decades is that Apple devices generally last a long time if treated well.

    MDN, you should know better than to support the FUD! I don’t know if I have any respect left for you or any camaraderie left with the people who now populate this forum. Time to find another Mac fan site with more fans and less obnoxious ads.

    The problem is that media overhyped and exaggerated the issue and then the lawyers jumped in to make a buck.

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