Republicans wade in on batterygate

Written by:
Lucie Sadler
Date Posted:
22 January 2018

Batterygate continues.

We all remember Apple revealing at the beginning of the month that they slow down old iPhone batteries. So Apple released an apology to customers and reduced their pricing for out-of-warranty replacement batteries, to a more affordable £25.

Republicans get angry
It hasn’t just annoyed Apple customers though. Now four US House Republicans have sent a letter to Apple’s CEO to complain about the situation. They want answers.

Although the full contents of the letter have not been disclosed, they’ve demanded more information about the battery life of iPhones. The Senate Commerce Committee also got involved, deeming batterygate a priority issue. It seems like overkill, but Apple’s size and success often makes it a prime target for criticism.

The letter is also said to point out the issue of overheating batteries, referring to the recent instance in Switzerland where the Apple store was evacuated and emergency services were called to deal with a smoking battery. Conveniently the press happened to get hold of that story.

Always put the customer first? 
Apple is often under scrutiny by lawmakers, so it’s not surprising to see. All that the House Republicans need is more transparency on the battery life of iPhones. The letter reportedly asks whether Apple have recorded the number of customer complaints about slow running phones. Also if they have offered refunds to customers who had paid full price for a battery replacement before the price was lowered (they can probably afford the refunds).

It will be interesting to see whether users start to move away from Apple products, or if they just accept that batteries degrade over time and take the cut price battery replacement. We expect to see a huge marketing push now coming from Android and other phone manufacturers, no doubt promoting the battery life of their handsets.

Apple hasn’t responded to the call for information yet, but we’ll update the blog as news breaks.

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