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Consumers are not happy with Apple’s admission that it intentionally slowed down older iPhones to keep up with declining batteries, reports USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham on Talking Tech.
LOS ANGELES — Apple’s Batterygate scandal has already produced seven consumer lawsuits, from consumers upset about Apple’s admission that it used software to slow down the performance of older iPhones to keep them in synch with older batteries.
Some analysts suggest Apple take a page from its 2010 open letter to consumers about Antennagate and speak directly again. (When the iPhone 4 was released, there were reports of dropped calls due to the placement of the antenna.)
More: Apple secretly slowed down your iPhone. Now consumers want the company to pay.
More: Downbeat iPhone X sales projections hobble Apple shares
More: How Apple can get beyond Batterygate
Here is the letter we’d like to see Apple release to the public:
Dear iPhone users,
The iPhone is the most successful product in consumer electronics history and has been judged by reviewers around the world to be the best smartphone ever. Users tell us over and over again that they absolutely love it.
So when we started reading reports about battery issues with older iPhone models from several years ago, we felt we had to immediately clarify. But perhaps we didn’t go far enough. We would like to explain further here.
We build iPhones because we’re on a mission to make the greatest products in the world, ones we enjoy using every day. Our goal is to bring the world together with one device that is frankly just a marvel at modern engineering.
iPhones are built to last. If you have an iPhone from 2013 or 2014, it should still work as advertised. In fact, our iOS mobile operating system, the world’s most advanced, works with not just our beautiful new iPhone X 8 and 8 Plus, but also last year’s forward looking 7 and 7 Plus and the SE, the most affordable and compact iPhone. We also support 2015’s iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, 2014’s iPhone 6 and go all the way back to 2013 with the iPhone 5S. That says a lot about how we believe in taking care of our customers for life.
But the fact is is that batteries don’t last forever. Despite our best engineering efforts, we just haven’t been able to come up with a battery that can keep a charge for four years solid.
So we came up with a software solution to get the battery in synch with the older phones, to prevent them from unexpectedly shutting down. We did this to protect the electronic components of the iPhone.
We tested and retested this over and over, and the results were always the same–the iPhone’s performance is superior for what is an older phone. The vast majority of users have seen no issues whatsoever and are thrilled with the performance of their phones, even after all this time.
Now some have suggested we turn off this feature, or make it opt-in, and the thing you have to understand about Apple is, we listen to our customers. So starting today, with a new iOS update, this feature is now live.
But we prefer that in certain situations, your older iPhone work as great as it did the day you bought it.
So we’d like to be more proactive on the easiest solution: a battery replacement, on us, for iPhone 5S models through the 6S and 6S Plus.
In order to qualify for this offer, all iPhone customers have to do is open the Apple Store app on their iPhones, and use our Siri personal digital assistant to say, “Battery replace offer.” Just announce your name, address and iPhone serial number back at Siri, and we will respond with a choice of Apple Store appointments to have the new battery installed within 4-12 weeks.
But as a reminder, again, while we build our products to last, so much has changed in the last three years. Technology has gotten so much more advanced and we’ve been able to pack so much power into an iPhone than we could when we started. Our new cameras rival expensive DSLRs and our app makers are creating just awesome things with augmented reality that rely on our advanced Bionic chips, the most powerful processing power ever in a smartphone.
The old iPhones are great, but the new ones simply rock, and we have a model available for everyone, starting at just $349.
It’s never been easier to upgrade, thanks to the new Apple Upgrade Program, which allows you to pay over two years or upgrade after at least 12 payments.
We hope you love the iPhone as much as we do.
Thank you for your patience and support.
While the letter was a parody, we can dream, right? What are your thoughts about Apple and Batterygate? Let’s chat about it on Twitter, where I’m @jeffersongraham