You may not know it but smartphone batteries get weaker over time, slowly losing the ability to hold a full charge. Apple recently came under fire for minimising iPhone performance as a device’s battery degrades.
The backlash has been swift, with class action lawsuits overseas, and while Apple denies the accusations of “planned obsolescence” it has cut the price of battery replacements. Here’s what you need to know.
Why is Apple offering discounted iPhone battery replacements?
It was revealed that the iPhone’s operating system is designed to reduce the peak performance of older models over time. Angry Apple customers say this aligns with their suspicion that their iPhones feel slower to use. Apple says it does this to prevent “unexpected shutdowns”.
Apple apologised for the lack of transparency in this process, and said it would never “do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades”. As part of this apology, the company announced that it would cut the out-of-warranty battery replacement fee from $119 to $39 in Australia.
Replacing an old iPhone battery will restore performance to its original speed.
An iOS update scheduled for early 2018 will add battery health functionality that will let you check the state of your iPhone’s battery without the need for intervention from Apple.
Where can I get my iPhone battery replaced and what will it cost?
You get your iPhone battery replaced either in Apple stores, if you have one nearby, or by mailing your device to Apple. If you go for the in-store option, you can either make an appointment at an Apple store or take it to an authorised third-party Apple retailer.
If you choose to post it in, Apple will send you a box that you can use to ship your iPhone to an Apple repair centre. Apple estimates that you’ll typically get your phone back in about a week.
If your iPhone is still under warranty, covered by consumer law, or you pay for AppleCare+, Apple will replace your battery free of charge. Otherwise it’s $39 (plus a $19.95 shipping fee, if required).
Apple says this discounted pricing will be valid until December 2018.
What iPhones are eligible for a battery replacement?
Any eligible iPhone 6 or later model is eligible for a battery replacement. This includes the following devices: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Apple will typically only replace your battery if it retains less than 80% of its original capacity, but there are reports that it is waiving this requirement for the time being.
Who should replace their iPhone battery?
If your iPhone is eligible for a battery replacement and is more than a year old, it’s probably worth taking Apple up on its discounted offer before the end of 2018. Even if you haven’t noticed any performance impacts, a fresh battery will extend the life of your phone.
This article first appeared on WhistleOut Australia.