Apple Crippling Old iPhones: Apology Won't Stop Lawsuits

Injured Zurich police said the incident occurred as the Apple Store repair worker was removing the battery which burned his hand

Injured Zurich police said the incident occurred as the Apple Store repair worker was removing the battery which burned his hand

Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) on Tuesday sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, The Wall Street Journal reports.

"However, even if Apple's actions were indeed only meant to avoid unexpected shutdowns on older phones, the large volume of consumer criticism leveled against the company in light of its admission suggests that there should have been better transparency with respect to these practices", the GOP lawmaker wrote in a January 9 letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook. "Unlike in Europe and the U.S., where the vast majority of new early iPhone X sales came from existing Apple smartphone owners, in urban China there are significant numbers of Huawei, Xiaomi and Samsung customers switching to the new iPhone models, which they deem a cut above the rest". The questions include how Apple has tracked customer complaints and also whether they have considered refunding people who paid full price for a battery replacement.

By not recognizing the battery-related performance problems earlier, Apple also basically acknowledged that it doesn't test new releases of iOS on iPhones with older batteries. Apple claims it does so due to the effects of aging batteries, but it formally apologized for not making its practices known to customers.

Thune questioned Apple's handling of the situation. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components. We'll update if Apple responds.

"Apple's proposed solutions have prompted additional criticism from some customers, particularly its decision not to provide free replacement batteries", wrote Mr. Thune, who requested answers by January 23. "Sure, Apple might not intentionally limit the battery life but you limit how long someone might be inclined to keep an old device given how expensive it is to replace the battery given the relative battery replacement cost for other devices".

Apple has reportedly faced shortages of batteries in its stores following the battery replacement programme.

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