As iPhone batteries age, their chemical aging slows phones down, Apple recently said in a public statement. Due to what it sees as non communicating the issue effectively, the company's statement doubles as an apology for a lack of transparency.
"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," Apple said in its statement. "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."
While the company acknowledges batteries age will impact iPhone performance, it stresses it's nothing the company does behind the scenes to incentive users to upgrade phones. Rechargable batteries, the company says, are "consumable components that become less effective as they chemically age." This aging affects a battery's ability to hold a charge.
"Device use also affects the performance of a battery over its lifespan," Apple continues. "For example, leaving or charging a battery in a hot environment can cause a battery to age faster. These are characteristics of battery chemistry, common to lithium-ion batteries across the industry."
Addressing user feedback about slowing phones, Apple announced it's "reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 – from $79 to $29 [USD]." Additionally, the company said it's releasing a new iOS update next year with "new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance."