It’s being called Battery Gate and Apple is dealing with a lot of unhappy customers after admitting it slowed down older phones out of caution.
To be clear, Apple isn’t apologizing for a hardware flaw or glitch, the company said sorry for a decision it made to tamper with users’ devices without telling them about it. Apple said in their apology statement, "We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize...First and foremost, we have never - and would never - do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades."
So, now Apple is trying to make it right by discounting battery replacements. For the next 12 months it will swap out batteries in customers’ iPhones for just $29. That's $50 cheaper than usual. They're also launching a new feature that will allow users to monitor the health of their batteries.
But Battery Gate is far from over for Apple. At least nine lawsuits have been filed in states across the U.S., including New York, Illinois, and California. In California, a class action suit is requesting almost $1 trillion in damages.
This scandal is rippling across the globe with South Korea, Israel, and France also looking into the issue. In France, it’s illegal to degrade old products to push users to new ones. And it's not just fines, but jail time that's on the table. Guilty parties under the French law can face up to two years in prison. Although it’s typically applied to French manufacturers.
But while Apple said sorry, the company has not said it’s guilty. Even though it kept customers with questions about their slow phones in the dark, Apple said it didn't keep their decision a secret to push users to their new products.