In case you've been stuck on Gilligan's island without internet access, you've likely heard about Apple getting caught and admitting that they have been secretly slowing down iphone models that they are still selling currently. As of yesterday, there were 17 Class Action suits filed against Apple for as high as $999 Billion.
Apple only came forward admitting this stuff was true after a Reddit user discovered that replacing the battery would restore the phone’s performance. Jeffrey Fazio, an attorney who cleaned Apple's clock in 2013 for $53 million regarding Apple's iPhone warranty claims says, "Apple chose to conceal the battery defect. His new suit alleges that “the batteries’ inability to handle the demand created by processor speeds” without the software update that slowed the iPhone down was a defect. Rather than curing the battery defect by providing a free battery replacement for all affected iPhones, Apple sought to mask the battery defect.”
In any case, I was pissed off enough to personally move from my iPhone 6s+ to a Samsung Galaxy S8+. I still have two iMacs and a MacBook Pro so I cannot totally abandon the Apple ecosystem. Fortunately for consumers, when a company gets exposed like this, they are forced to operate with totally transparency as they are under the regulatory microscope. I banked with Wells Fargo before and after their wheels fell off from their "Opening added accounts without customer knowledge fiasco". I'm still with them because doing anything covert, or unethical at this point would be a death sentence.
What's amazing about this situation is the phones in question, the iPhone 6 series and the 7 series, are all still current models in Apple's product line being sold by their stores as well as all the carriers. Traditionally, if a battery is below 80% when tested at the "Genius Bar", they replaced it for FREE, if under warranty. If out of warranty, it was $79 to replace it. After the backlash, Apple just announced they will replace batteries in iPhone 6, 6s, 7, 7+ and SE models that are out of warranty for $29.99 which is a $50 discount. Because of the uproar, word has it that they will replace batteries regardless of whether they are under or over 80% capacity.
The offer may get even better as the amount of Class Action suits builds. This problem is too big to go away without some major concessions from Apple above and beyond an $50 discount for a new battery. They have wronged their most loyal advocates and better come up with some good will quick.
If you have an iPhone model older than the 6 series, our friends at BGR found a viable solution. Ironically, what I find even more painful is that as soon as I post this, I'm going to have to go to an Apple store with my wife's iPhone 6 and get their $29 battery upgrade. Then, I will be visiting my Independent Apple Technician who will be selling me an iPhone 7 for her. I will then bring that back to Apple and have them swap out the battery. Duh!
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.