Apple Issues Apology for Slowdowns and Offers Reduced Price on New Batteries

apology, Naperville business law attorneyIn a recent post on this blog, I discussed the lawsuits being brought against tech giant Apple for deliberately slowing down the performance of older iPhones. A growing number of iPhone owners have filed legal action—some seeking class-action certification—for damages that were caused by the alleged breach of contract on the part of Apple.

As a business owner and a business lawyer, I certainly understand the importance of building and maintaining loyalty among customers. Satisfied clients are more than a source of continued revenue; they also provide positive word of mouth marketing among their friends, family, and colleagues. Thus, when a customer base’s loyalty is threatened, the company in question must take steps toward correcting the problem—even if the underlying issue is a based on a misunderstanding.

Differing Perspectives

The general consensus among many consumers is the belief that Apple used operating system updates to slow the performance of older iPhones in an attempt to frustrate users into buying newer models. Apple admitted to releasing updates that slowed older devices but claimed that its reasons for doing so were based on issues with aging lithium-ion batteries. The company maintains that slowing performance was necessary to prevent the battery from shutting down. In a post on the company website, Apple apologized and insisted, “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.”

Proposed Solutions

In response to the public backlash, Apple also announced that iPhone users could purchase new batteries for just $29, beginning in late January. The cost will go back to its usual $79 at the end of 2018. The company said that a new battery would resolve the issues that forced the decrease in performance that many users have experienced. Independent research supports the idea that replacing the battery will fix the problems.

While Apple referred to lithium-ion batteries as “consumable,” the average person cannot switch out their iPhone’s battery. Users must go through Apple, as third-party services and do-it-yourself kits will void any warranty remaining on the device.

Continued Concerns

The general public has received Apple’s apology with mixed feelings. Many find it hard to believe that an iPhone’s battery should be classified as a consumable, as it is sealed in the case of the device and inaccessible to the user. This means that even if Apple did not intend to force customers to upgrade, the company is still forcing users to buy new batteries with limited options for having the new batteries installed. It is presently unclear how Apple’s apology and offer will affect the pending lawsuits.

Protecting Your Company

Businesses are run by human beings, and human beings often make mistakes. If such a mistake—either real or perceived—is threatening to affect the loyalty of your customers, contact an experienced Naperville business law attorney. We can help you develop a strategy for dealing with your concerns and keeping your customers satisfied for many years to come. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation at The Gierach Law Firm today.

 

Sources:

CNN Money

CNBC