Apple Apologizes for Slowing iPhones

A week after acknowledging it slows the speed of older iPhones to help aging batteries handle the workload, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is apologizing for its approach and offering cheaper replacement batteries for iPhone users.

Apple issued a lengthy apology after a wave of negative press, thousands of angry customers and several lawsuits. The slowdown applies to iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 models as part of an iOS 11.2 update. Some Apple users saw the slowdown as an attempt push iPhone users to update their devices to newer models, a charge that Apple disputes in its statement.

“First and foremost, we 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,” the company says in the statement.

According to Apple, the update was intended to prevent devices from automatically shutting down when aging batteries can’t handle the power demands of peak processing speeds.

Apple customers suing the company allege that Apple’s lack of disclosure about the slowdown led them to wrongfully conclude that they needed newer iPhones rather than just replacement batteries.

As part of Apple’s apology to customers, the company said it will temporarily be lowering the price of replacement iPhone batteries from $79 to $29 starting in late January.

Apple said it will not be rolling back the controversial updates, but it did pledge to provide users more visibility about the heath of iPhone batteries.

Apple stock is down 2.3 percent since the iPhone story originally broke last week, but the selling pressure isn’t just related to software slowdowns. On Monday, Taiwanese newspaper Economic Daily Times reported that an iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has stopped recruiting workers and a supply chain official said Apple may have aggressively cut back on its iPhone X demand.

Wells Fargo analyst Aaron Rakers says the latest Chinese export data suggests “limited” upside to iPhone estimates at best.

“An analysis of China Province-level mobile phone export data this week reinforces…

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