Cheap batteries, starting now
When we reported a few days ago about Apple’s decision to offer discounted battery replacements for older iPhones, we weren’t expecting the program to go live for several weeks. Well, to usher in the new year we were surprised to see Apple launch the discount campaign just yesterday. Cheap batteries are available right now, through the end of the year.
This move was made in response to the admission that iOS intentionally throttles the performance of certain devices as a result of natural battery degradation. When the device’s lithium-ion battery can no longer perform at maximum capacity, the processing speeds will be similarly capped to avoid the random shutdowns that can come from over-taxing the battery.
From a technical standpoint this makes sense, and should extend the shelf life of the device – at the expense of some slowdown when opening apps or performing power-intensive tasks. Apple has been criticised for its secretive handling of this feature and its poor communication on what it was doing. Meanwhile, Samsung and others have taken a shot at the feature, saying they would never intentionally slow down devices. To find out more about why Apple adjusts performance based on battery health, you can read Apple’s full explainer right here.
Starting immediately, though, the price of replacement batteries for affected devices has been slashed by $50. Specifically, if you have an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, or SE, you should be eligible for a replacement battery at $29. Just book an appointment at an Apple Store for more details. For these devices, Apple has confirmed that a new battery will improve performance back to “as new” standards, for a fraction of the cost of buying a whole new iPhone.
iPads are not affected by the slowdown issue, so aren’t eligible for replacements. This is thanks to a combination of their larger battery capacity and less intense usage cycles meaning battery degradation is not such a problem over the life of the product. If you do have an iPad that’s running particularly slowly, though, it may be worth speaking to the Apple Store anyway in case they can offer another solution.