Following widespread criticism for reducing SoC frequency because of battery degradation, Apple announced plans to cut down the price of an out-of-warranty battery replacement for the iPhone 6 and newer models to $29 (from $79) throughout 2018. The battery swap program was expected to kick off early in 2018, but Apple has decided to initiate it immediately in the US, starting December 30. Later on, the company plans to update its iOS in early 2018 to give its customers a visibility of battery wear out and help them to decide whether they need a swap or not.

We expected to need more time to be ready,” Apple said in a statement published by TechCrunch. “But we are happy to offer our customers the lower pricing right away. Initial supplies of some replacement batteries may be limited.

Earlier this month Apple confirmed that it reduces the iPhone SoC frequency, among other things, as its battery capacity depreciates over time in order to avoid unexpected shutdowns from high current draw. The company claims that at times its processors demand a higher peak current than a degraded battery can provide. In particular, as batteries age (or are operated in a low temperature environment), the impedance grows and the ability to supply enough current at a stable voltage drops. Apple’s power management monitors a combination of the iPhone temperature, battery charge, and the battery’s impedance (the company does not say how it can monitor the impedance of a battery). Since all components require certain voltages and currents to operate, in a bid to avoid unexpected shutdowns, iOS reduces the SoC frequency and therefore reduces the performance of the smartphone until the power management IC finds it reasonable.

We have already published two stories covering the Apple battery fiasco, where we covered some additional details on the matter:

While an iPhone is guaranteed to make an emergency call, its aged battery may not provide required performance for all the third-party applications needed. In a bid to remedy the battery situation, Apple offers owners of the iPhone 6, 6S, SE and 7 in the US to install a new battery for $29, starting today. To do so, owners of the said iPhones will have to either send their smartphones to Apple, bring them to the company’s stores, or bring them to an Apple authorized service provider. The final details yet have to be published. Apple says that it usually takes 7-9 days to replace a battery, but if a large number of clients decide to replace their existing units straight away, the service will take longer and shortages of certain battery units may occur. It remains to be seen how Apple deals with its customers in Asia and Europe.

Sometimes early next year Apple intends to update its iOS to give their customers a clear understanding of the health of their iPhone’s batteries. This probably indicates that Apple will continue to lower performance of its SoCs going forward to prevent shutdowns, prolong battery life and guarantee phone operation in case of emergencies for all of its customers. 

Source: TechCrunch

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • basroil - Saturday, December 30, 2017 - link

    How much should we bet that the "discount" is applied only if you sign a waiver stating you won't sue Apple for this issue? If they are really "crafty" they might even state you accept that discount as final compensation for any and all "features" of the phone!
  • shabby - Saturday, December 30, 2017 - link

    So far that's a myth.
  • basroil - Sunday, December 31, 2017 - link

    Have you read the service agreement? It actually states pretty much that
  • sonicmerlin - Saturday, December 30, 2017 - link

    My iPhone 6S has never, ever shut down on me. I never even noticed any drop in battery life before I updated to iOS 11. So why am I being throttled to half speed (according to geekbench) at 40% battery?

    Can you just turn the throttling off you cheapskates? Or just give us the cruddy option in the settings app to disable this new throttling protocol. How hard is that? Settings has already become such a labyrinthine mess, what harm is there in giving us one more option?
  • SavedByTechnology - Saturday, December 30, 2017 - link

    My iPhone 6 shuts down a lot if I let the battery run down below 30%. It’s also slow as hell, especially launching apps like Weather Channel or Twitter.

    I just installed a battery check app and it’s telling me my battery is “marginal” at 87%.
  • Alexvrb - Saturday, December 30, 2017 - link

    If your phone is shutting down below 30%, is slow, and the battery is old... replace the battery, seriously. You don't need an app to know that battery is shot. Jeebus. Also how many gens old is that phone now? I'm far from an Apple fan and I haven't broke down and bought one yet, but yeesh.
  • ddrіver - Sunday, December 31, 2017 - link

    They probably measured the output voltage of your battery and noticed during power spikes it's dangerously close to rebooting the device. So they throttled just in case. I think they took the right decision but it should have been transparent.
  • id4andrei - Sunday, December 31, 2017 - link

    They took the right decision in abstract but they still handicapped your phone. You are thus the owner of a phone that performs under its advertised power, possibly while under warranty. Maybe you are out of warranty but throttling started while under warranty and you didn't notice. In Europe, this is called a concealed defect.

    This is a recall issue not a battery swap. Apple's iphones "burn too bright" and start suffering conveniently at around the 1 or 2 year mark when the warranty expires.
  • RanDum72 - Monday, January 1, 2018 - link

    A degraded battery will handicap your phone regardless. So which one do you want, slow but longer use or blazingly fast but shorter run-time?
  • ddrіver - Monday, January 1, 2018 - link

    Finally, a guy who gets it. Apple concentrated performance in the first 1-2 years of operation because they know people change the phone after. Everybody else just spreads the performance and you get a watered down phone that lasts more than 2 years.

    The only mistake Apple did was hiding this. They should have told people and they would have been able to sell the replacement for more than $29.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now