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Tim Cook: We Warned You About Slowing Down iPhones

[Andrew Burton/Getty Images]

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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Apple CEO Tim Cook said he doesn’t “think a lot of people were paying attention” when the company ostensibly notified customers it would be slowing down certain older models.

In an interview with ABC News, Cook said:

About a year ago, we released some code that essentially what it does is all batteries age over time and they become unhealthy at a point in time. And an unhealthy battery has a probability that it will create an unexpected restart. When we did put it [software update] out, we did say what it was, but I don’t think a lot of people were paying attention, and maybe we should have been clearer as well. And so we deeply apologize for anybody who thinks we had some other kind of motivation.

Many customers of the Cupertino, California-based tech corporation were more than irked when reports first arose that it was deliberately messing with the processing speed of iPhones through a software update. Apple was later forced to apologize.

“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize,” reads the company blog post titled “A Message to Our Customers about iPhone Batteries and Performance.”

But that didn’t stop at least eight lawsuits across the world from being filed. Apple at the time said there were serious misunderstandings of what it was exactly doing.

“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 blog post continued. “All rechargeable batteries are consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age and their ability to hold a charge diminishes. Time and the number of times a battery has been charged are not the only factors in this chemical aging process.”

A key problem, however, is that Apple could have told customers that a replacement battery would resolve the technical issue. It instead seemed to keep quiet, leading many suspicious people to believe it’s because of the price difference compared to getting a new iPhone.

It later rolled out a special, temporary offering in which customers could purchase a new battery for a relatively cheap price of $29.

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