Apple landed itself in one of the biggest scandals the company has ever been part of when it was learned that the iPhone maker was throttling older devices when the battery wasn't performing at 100%. Throttling was confirmed by a Geekbench developer in December 2017, and the main problem is that Apple never told users that it was reducing the performance of their devices. The result was over 60 class action lawsuits against the company for its actions and governmental investigations around the world.
Apple tried to appease owners of older devices with budget $29 battery replacements, but the damage was done. Apple also promised that it would be more transparent in the future with more details on the battery health and how the health would affect the performance of the device. The version of iOS to roll out these battery health tidbits is iOS 11.3.
When iOS 11.3 lands (which could be a soon as tomorrow), Apple will provide stats to users that no other smartphone maker is offering. Users will be able to view a detailed breakdown of exactly how healthy the battery inside the iPhone, iPad, or iPod is. Users will be able to view current health statistics, battery degradation over time, and new performance options will be offered. iOS 11.3 will also give the user notifications when they need to replace their battery for optimum performance.
Some have called the way that Apple throttled devices with aged batteries "planned obsolescence", because the battery health declines rapidly. Some feel that users of other platforms like Android will demand the same insights into their battery health that Apple will be offering. The downside for Apple is that with clear insight into what is making older devices not perform and cheaper battery replacements, there will be more time between upgrades for many users hurting profits at Apple.
Apple did write an apology letter to customers for its throttling practices. "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," said Apple in an open letter apology to customers. "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."
"At Apple, our customers' trust means everything to us. We will never stop working to earn and maintain it. We are able to do the work we love only because of your faith and support — and we will never forget that or take it for granted."