Apple is reportedly considering offering Rebates to customers who purchased Replacement batteries for their iPhones at full price, rather than at the discounted $29. The Cupertino tech giant revealed the fact in a letter sent to Senator John Thune, the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.
Apple admitted to throttling older iPhones as their batteries degrade in December, stating that the mechanism was implemented in a software update earlier in the year as a way to mitigate random shutdowns. The firm apologized for the lack of disclosure and dropped the price of replacement batteries from $79 to $29 in a new program.
Thune had previously penned a letter to Apple with several questions about the company’s performance throttling measure — including asking if they were considering rebates for customers who paid the full $79 for a replacement battery prior to the price drop. The letter, in which Apple said it is “exploring” the possibility of rebates, was released by Thune on Tuesday.
Apple has also sent a letter to Representative Greg Walden, hinting that it will consider extending its discounted battery program past the 2018 deadline. Reportedly, Apple said it will extend the replacement initiative if no other solution — other than iPhone throttling — can be found to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
Earlier this year, iDrop News reader Stephen Taylor claimed that Apple offered to refund him the $50 price difference, since he paid the typical $79 replacement fee. In an email, Taylor said Apple was only going to refund the difference for iPhone owners who had their battery replaced after Dec. 14, 2017.
It’s not currently clear if this was an exception or a mistake. But Apple’s letter to Sen. Thune is perhaps the first official confirmation that Apple is offering rebates, or more accurately, is exploring whether to offer rebates on a larger scale in the future.
Apple’s lack of transparency concerning its power management feature has led to a sharp backlash from consumers. The company has since been hit with a slew of lawsuits, and is currently the focus of several government probes across the globe.
In response to the controversy, Apple is implementing new battery-related features in iOS 11.3, including in-depth battery health information and the ability to toggle iPhone throttling off (at the expense of a higher chance of random shutdowns).
iOS 11.3 will roll out to the general public as a free software update this spring.
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