Following a wave of controversy last week regarding power management in older iPhone models, Apple has reduced the cost of out-of-warranty battery replacements from $79 to $29. In a note to customers, the company stated that this new policy applied to “anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced”.
However, at first, it was not stated whether a person’s eligibility for a replacement battery would depend on whether or not the iPhone passed an official Genius Bar Diagnostic Test. This was until the French tech blog iGeneration reported that an internal memo had been circulated which states that if a customer asks for a battery replacement, they should be given one regardless of the outcome of the test.
Since then, Apple confirmed this with reputable site MacRumors, stating that it will agree to replace a battery for $29 regardless of whether or not the diagnostic test shows that it is still able to retain less than 80% of its original battery.
This is clearly an attempt from Apple to placate the backlash from headlines that suggested Apple artificially slows down older iPhones to prompt customers to upgrade to newer models. There are also reports that suggest customers who previously paid $79 to have their battery replaced can receive a refund from Apple upon request.
Apple has been forced to apologize over its transparency regarding the process of dynamically managing the performance of older iPhones. When iOS 10.2.1 was first released, Apple referred to “improvements” it had made to prevent unexpected shutdowns and only chose to explain that the changes made may temporarily slow down some older models with degraded batteries after controversy unfolded.
If you believe that your iPhone battery is degrading, you can run a diagnostic test remotely but to initiate the diagnostic/replacement process you will need to contact Apple Support.
You can find out how to check your iPhone battery here.