In a surprising statement posted yesterday (December 28), Apple has issued an apology to their customers about the iPhone batteries and performance. Claiming a misunderstanding about the issue and apologizing for how they handled it, Apple issued a statement hoping to clarify some of the issues.

Confirming that they have never in the past, nor ever would in the future, shorten the Battery Life of an Apple product intentionally (forcing customers to perform unnecessary upgrades as some people claimed), Apple confirmed their goal has always been to create products consumers love and which will last.

The battery issue

It is an industry fact that rechargeable batteries do become less efficient as they get older. Their ability to hold a charge is dramatically affected as they age. Not only does time affect the battery, and the number of times it has been charged, but how the device is used also plays a part.

One instance Apple cited was the fact that charging or using a device in a hot environment can age the battery prematurely. This does not only affecting Apple batteries but is common to all lithium-ion batteries in the industry.

Because an older battery cannot deliver the required energy load, especially when it is not fully charged, this can result in the smartphone unexpectedly shutting itself down.

Apple feels expected shutdowns are not what they want for their users and so took steps to prevent them. During the iOS 10.2.1 upgrade for iPhone 6, 6+, 6s, 6s+, and SE, some power management improvements were included.

The update allows the operating system to manage the performance of some components in order to prevent them from shutting down.

Most of these changes would go unnoticed, but in some cases, users could experience longer launch times for apps and other performance reductions.

With the positive response to the update, the same support was extended to the iPhone 7 and 7+ in the iOS 11.2 update. This update continues to only affect batteries which are older and not functioning at full capacity.

When replaced with a new battery the iPhone would continue to operate at peak performance.

During the fall, Apple received some user feedback indicating continuing slower performances. Initially, they believed the issue to be the normal effect of performance after an upgrade to the operating system, and some initial bugs which have been fixed since. It is now believed that a third factor was involved, the increasing age of batteries in older iPhone 6 and 6s phones which are still running on their old batteries.

In order to ensure that iPhone users can continue to use their Apple device as long as possible, Apple has reduced the battery replacement charge by $50 from $79 to a mere $29. The reduced rate battery replacements will be available starting late January.

New Update

A new update to the iOS operating system software will contain new information regarding your phone’s battery health. The update should be available starting in early 2018. This will allow users to determine for themselves whether a replacement is required, and confirm if the battery is impacting their system performance.

While a lot of users may feel that the way Apple went about the battery issue was incorrect, it is commendable that they now provide full transparency and a means of correcting the issue with the inexpensive battery replacement.

More information about the reduced price battery replacement program will be available later in January on Apple's website.