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"Strong Demand" for Replacement Batteries After iOS SNAFU

"Strong Demand" for Replacement Batteries After iOS SNAFU

So consumers are interested in a replacement battery after a discreet amendment to a software update slows down their devices? My response is unprintable, but suffice to say, it involves creative use of “Sherlock.”

For those who’ve been living under a very tiny rock, Apple infuriated consumers with an inconspicuous rider to the iOS 10.2.1 software update. The 2017 proviso effectively slowed down older iPhones by shackling battery performance.

Apple claimed it was to solve shutdown issues with the iPhone 6, but the update apparently hampered older batteries. In a recent statement, Apple CEO Tim Cook offered a meager apology:

“When we did put it [the software update] out, we did say what it was, but I don't think a lot of people were paying attention,” Cook said.

So it’s our fault.

I haven’t been able to find the iOS 10.2.1 user agreement text, but I do believe that Apple buried the battery provision in there somewhere. And judging from initial reactions, I don’t think most consumers had the slightest clue.

It’s curious that Apple publicly acknowledged the battery clause a month after releasing 10.2.1. They don’t need to highlight every solitary feature of their software, but this was a major passage that slipped by inconspicuously.

In a recent statement, Apple said it had “never, and would never, do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.” Orwellian spin of the highest order, since 10.2.1 specifically slowed down batteries to prevent shutdowns. Good intentions or not, the Cupertino giant almost certainly damaged their own product.

In an act of (long-overdue) contrition, Apple recently slashed the cost of replacement batteries from $79 to $29, and consumers are apparently interested in paying Apple for the privilege of fixing their own SNAFU.

I’m no fan of legislators stepping in, but Apple deserves all the scorn it’s reaped from this.

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