Report: Apple may give rebates on iPhone battery replacements


Apple is reportedly looking into options to reimburse customers who paid full price for a battery replacement for their iPhones before the company began offering discounts last month.

The good news for consumers is related to a public statement the tech titan issued as part of its admission that it was throttling older smartphones to keep them from shutting down in some cases.

Along with apologizing for the brouhaha, Apple vowed to replace the batteries of older iPhones for $29 — a $50 discount — through the end of December 2018.

Report: Apple explores offering rebates on iPhone battery replacements

The December 2017 admission, which subjected the Cupertino, California-based company to mass criticism and a slew of lawsuits, got the attention of Congress when Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune of South Dakota wrote Apple seeking some answers.

Thune wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook on January 9, according to Reuters, inquiring whether “there should have been better transparency” in the company’s decision to slow down the popular smartphones.

In a five-page letter published Tuesday by tech website The Verge, Apple responded to Thune, revealing a number of revelations about how it was dealing with the battery issue, which has been dubbed #Batterygate. In line with what the company told customers last year, Apple’s Public Policy Vice President Cynthia Hogan reiterated to Thune that the upcoming iOS 11.3 update will give users “greater visibility into the health of their iPhones.”

Paramount among those of us who are money-conscious, Apple said that the company is indeed exploring whether customers who paid full price for a battery replacement should get a rebate of some kind. While no other information has been released about this, Apple has vowed to provide details on this at a later date.

4 things we learned in Apple’s letter about the battery controversy

The letter also shed light on other things related to the health of older iPhones. Here are four things we learned from Apple’s letter:

  • iPhones will automatically shut down in certain conditions: In the letter, Apple said that in certain conditions, such as extreme cold, the smartphone is designed to shut down “to protect the device’s electronics at low voltage.”
  • Older iPhone models don’t have the battery issue: The i5S and older models don’t have power management plans, so any  problems they have aren’t related to the throttling issue, the company indicated.
  • Apple said it introduced iPhone throttling in January 2017: In iOS 10.2.1 Readme notes, the company said it informed customers that the new update “improves power management … to avoid unexpected shutdowns.”

RELATED: Apple faces lawsuits over its throttling of older iPhones

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