Apple’s $29 Battery Replacement Program Does Not Require a Failed Diagnostic Test

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Apple really stepped in it a few weeks ago when it admitted it was indeed slowing down older iPhones. While the rationale it offered does make sense in certain contexts, owners of affected devices were not amused. Apple’s remedy for the wave of bad PR was to replace batteries in older iPhones for a mere $29. It turns out Apple is being a bit more generous than expected. Your iPhone doesn’t even have to fail the battery diagnostic test to qualify for the replacement.

According to owners of devices like the iPhone 6s, their phones began slowing down after the iOS 10.2.1 update in early 2017. After months of increasingly angry online postings, benchmark service Geekbench combed over its data and found evidence that iPhones were being slowed down.

All lithium-ion rechargeable batteries like the ones used in iPhones degrade over time, but Apple devices have been experiencing a number of problems from this reduced performance. A degraded battery can’t always provide enough voltage to keep an iPhone running at peak performance, so Apple throttled the CPU to use less power as a way to prevent unexpected shutdowns. On the one hand, this wasn’t an irresponsible fix, but not telling people was a big mistake.

So, now Apple is on the hook for most of the cost to replace batteries in older (mostly out-of-warranty) iPhones. In most cases, replacing the battery will boost the voltage available to the phone, instantly lifting the performance limits. Apple launched the repair program several days ago, about a month ahead of schedule. According to the reports from the first wave of customers, Apple does not even require that your phone fails a battery test to qualify for the cheap replacement. You do need to have an iPhone 6 or newer, though.

iphone-6-and-6-plus-size-comparison

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the oldest phones eligible for Apple’s battery replacement program.

A battery replacement from Apple usually costs $79, so you can save $50 on a new battery for your phone. Even if you’re having a different issue, like reduced capacity or slow charging, you can get a cheap swap. Some customers even report that Apple is offering retroactive refunds to those who paid full price for a battery replacement within the last 30 days.

A number of class action lawsuits are currently building steam around the country. It’s likely those will take years to reach a settlement, but you can get your phone in working order now for a relatively low price.

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