If you've got an iPhone 6 or later with a battery that won't hold its charge, now is the time to replace it
As unreliable as Apple products can be sometimes, millions of us still depend on them every day. From MacBooks to iPads, iPhones to iPods, Apple has truly dominated the technological market - but they employed some rather sneaky ways of ensuring that customers continued buying their products over the years.
Last December, the tech giant publicly admitted that they used underhand tactics in keeping their clientele by giving their iPhones "built-in obsolescence". In basic terms: Apple had been lowering the performance of older phones through updates in order to encourage users to upgrade to the newer models.
Originally, they claimed they had done this in order to preserve the battery life on older phones, but users didn't buy that excuse. Instead, they demanded compensation from the company, and Apple obliged... sort of.
In an open letter to customers, Apple acknowledged "that some of you [customers] feel Apple has let you down."
"First and foremost, 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," they said. "Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that."
They later went on to say:
"Over the course of this fall, we began to receive feedback from some users who were seeing slower performance in certain situations. Based on our experience, we initially thought this was due to a combination of two factors: a normal, temporary performance impact when upgrading the operating system as iPhone installs new software and updates apps, and minor bugs in the initial release which have since been fixed.
"We now believe that another contributor to these user experiences is the continued chemical aging of the batteries in older iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s devices, many of which are still running on their original batteries."
And this is the solution they offered:
"Apple is reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 - from $79 to $29 - for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, available worldwide through December 2018."
So, if you have an iPhone 6 or later, now is the time to head to your nearest Apple store and get it replaced. In some cases, the store will accept fault and replace the battery for free if it has reached a certain point of degradation. Otherwise, you may still be asked to cough up for a replacement - at the reduced price, of course.
Even if you haven't been affected by this issue, it is worth keeping in mind that Apple - and other tech companies, of course - sometimes manipulate buyers into investing in new products needlessly. The latest models might have a slightly better camera or some cool face recognition software, buuut they might also omit the headphone jack so you have to buy new earbuds, or change the shape of the charger so you're forced to invest in a bunch of new cables, too.
If you consider it worth the investment, that's fine - but sometimes it pays off to wait a while before upgrading straight away.