Technology News – The moment was there. Having admitted iPhone batteries are substandard, here was Apple AAPL -1.07%’s moment to stand up and make the same kind of changes Samsung pledged and delivered after the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. Instead Apple just promised to make the bandages cheaper, for now…
In a message entitled ‘A Message to Our Customers about iPhone Batteries and Performance’, Apple did admit “We apologize” and it finally came clean 13 months later about the iOS 40% Bug I exclusively broke saying: “It should go without saying that we think sudden, unexpected shutdowns are unacceptable.” And yet when I chased Apple about this for month after month at the start of the year, it went unsaid.
There were also pledges: reducing the $79 charge for battery replacement services to $29 for 11 months “for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced”. Apple also said it will improve visibility into iPhone battery health so owners can work out whether battery condition is affecting their iPhone’s performance.
To all of it I say: what a load of rubbish.
While Apple apologised, it never admitted a mistake. It didn’t follow Samsung’s pledge to overhaul its battery technology (Samsung now promises 95% battery capacity remains after two years) or the lead of LG and Google which provide two year smartphone warranties.
Instead iPhone owners got a temporary window to replace defective iPhone batteries at a reduced cost (which won’t help iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus owners in a year’s time when their batteries are degraded), a reiteration that slowing down iPhones without warning is a feature owners should appreciate, and finally the implication that in future it will be the responsibility of mainstream users to proactively monitor their iPhone battery condition and act accordingly, not Apple.
Apple closes by saying “we will never forget [your faith and support] or take it for granted.”
Don’t buy it. Until Apple promises major battery refinements, ongoing (not one-off) battery replacement policies (a service which should take one day, not three), transparent and proactive warnings about your battery health and iPhone performance and it volunteers to extend iPhone warranties beyond one year (including battery cover), then this isn’t the apology we are looking for.
What Apple did was not enough. Not even close.
By Gordon Kelly, Forbes.com