Apple has slashed the price of replacement batteries for out-of-warranty iPhone models the company throttled earlier than expected, lowering the price from $79 to $29.
Apple had originally throttled the phones as part of a solution to degraded batteries leading to iOS crashes, but their lack of transparency on the issue enraged many customers (and encouraged speculation that Apple was artificially kneecapping the phones as part of a planned obsolescence strategy). It was only after Reddit users and benchmarking firms proved the throttled phones were running at reduced performance that Apple even admitted it was an intentional addition to recent versions of iOS.
The $29 replacement program was not expected until late January, TechCrunch reported, but Apple claims to have moved quickly. In theory, replacing an aging iPhone battery will restore the device to stock performance.
“We expected to need more time to be ready, but we are happy to offer our customers the lower pricing right away,” Apple told TechCrunch site in a statement. “Initial supplies of some replacement batteries may be limited.”
In a post on their website, Apple added that “Early in 2018, we will issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.”
The slashed $29 price makes getting an official Apple battery replacement, probably the likeliest way to ensure a quality repair, more than competitive with other options like third-party repair shops or DIY replacements. Repair shops can charge up to $40-70 and aren’t guaranteed to provide the same level of service, while battery replacement kits can run as low as $20 but always run the risk of damaging the phone.