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Following last week’s unexpected announcement of a discounted $29 iPhone battery replacement program for users with iPhone performance problems, Apple has made a last-minute change. Apple Stores have started replacing customers’ iPhone 6 and newer model batteries on request, even if Apple’s battery tests would normally deny the customers service.

As noted by French Apple blog iGeneration (translated), Apple typically runs a battery diagnostic on iPhones to determine whether their batteries are “still in a proper state,” which is typically 80 percent of initial capacity. If the battery was at 80 percent or more of originally stated performance, “Apple could refuse the replacement, even if the customer required it.”

Under the just-announced policy, however, employees must replace the battery for any customer who requests it, regardless of the diagnostic app’s result. iGeneration speculates that the policy change took place because “the controversy has already made a lot of noise,” which Apple hopes to quiet as quickly as possible.

Although the latest iPhone battery replacement program was originally scheduled to begin in late January, Apple subsequently updated its “message about iPhone batteries and performance” to make the program available immediately; it then instructed stores to permit discounted replacements right away.


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