You may have read a conspiracy theory online in the past year that Apple intentionally slows down old iPhones to get people to buy its latest smartphones. The company later confirmed that it does slow down iPhones that have naturally degraded batteries but it’s not for the nefarious reason that conspiracy theorists believe. The company has apologized for it previously and in a new interview Apple CEO Tim Cook says that Apple “deeply apologizes” for this “miscommunications.”
Apple explained several weeks ago that it pushed out some code that prevents accidental shutdowns on handsets that have older batteries. The batteries have degraded to the point where a surge in power requirement from the processor can cause the handset to shutdown unexpectedly. Apple basically throttled the processor on those devices to prevent accidental shutdowns.
Even if it didn’t have any intention to force people to upgrade their devices, it was throttling their handsets without their knowledge, and the company predictably took a lot of flak for it. Apple has since apologized and now offers $29 battery replacements for out of warranty devices.
In an interview with ABC News, Apple CEO Tim Cook says that the “When we did put it out, we did say what it was, but I don’t think a lot of people were paying attention,” adding that perhaps the company should have been clearer in pointing out what it was doing.
“We deeply apologize for anybody that thinks we had some kind of other motivation,” he says in a bid to reassure Apple fans that the company didn’t do this to get them to upgrade their smartphones. Apple has previously confirmed that it doesn’t slow down iPads or any other battery-powered device.
Tim Cook has also said that a future iOS update will give users who have these iPhones to disable this behavior should they so desire.