Apple says it will offer reduced price battery replacements for iPhones immediately. It had previously said the move — a response to revelations about a slowdown designed to prevent unwanted phone shutdowns — would come at the end of the month.
The offer affects out-of-warranty models from the iPhone 6 or later and is good for all of 2018. It cuts the battery replacement price from $79 to $29. Although the offer is available immediately, Apple has warned there may be delays in actually getting the new battery, which makes sense given replacement demand will be much higher than usual.
The price reduction is part of Apple’s attempts to cope with a problem that’s as much about publicity and communication as it is technology. It says it slowed down older models to avoid spikes in processor demand that could cause phones with degraded batteries to shut down unexpectedly.
The problem is that it didn’t tell people about the change, which only fuelled the conspiracy theories that Apple deliberately slows down older models just when a new one is coming out, making an upgrade feel more worthwhile. (That’s even explicitly mentioned in some of the attempted class action lawsuits filed in recent weeks, though nobody’s publicly provided evidence the timelines even match up.)
Apple’s also planning an iOS update to add improved battery stats so users “can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.”