iOS update will let users decide if they want Apple to slow down older iPhones or not

  • Apple will release a software update that will let users know if performance is slowing on older phones to preserve the battery
  • The update will let users turn off the option at the risk that the phone might automatically restart due to an aging battery
  • Cook said he deeply apologizes to customers who think Apple had other motivations for slowing phones
Apple CEO Tim Cook.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple will release a software update that will allow users to automatically control whether or not their iPhones are automatically slowed down, CEO Tim Cook told ABCNews on Wednesday.

Apple caught heat earlier this year when it was found to purposefully slow down iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus devices with older batteries. The company said the intention was to slow the phones to preserve aging batteries and prevent the devices from automatically restarting.

Cook explained Apple's thinking with ABCNews: "At the heart of any decision we make is the user, and we felt it would be better to take something off of the performance to prevent [iPhones from restarting] ... We deeply apologize for anybody who thinks we have some other kind of motivation," Cook said.

"We've listened to the feedback very carefully and in addition to giving everyone a very low price on a battery if they'd like to get a new battery, we're also going to, in a developer release that happens next month, give people the visibility of the health of their battery. It's very very transparent. This hasn't been done before. We will tell someone we're reducing your performance by some amount in order to not have an unexpected restart and, if you don't want it, you can turn it off."

Apple began offering $29 battery replacements in early January.