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iPhone owners who paid full price for battery may get rebate

Apple hints it's considering such a move, in a letter responding to a US senator's questions about slowing down older iPhones.

iPhone showing low battery warning

Is there a rebate in the future for customers who paid full price to speed up their older iPhones with a new battery? Maybe. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple says it's "exploring" offering rebates to customers who paid full price for a replacement battery to improve the performance of an older iPhone.

The tech giant noted that possibility in a letter to Sen. John Thune, in response to questions about the company's practice of slowing down older iPhones as their batteries age.

In the letter, dated Feb. 2, Apple provided a timeline of events surrounding the issue, some technical details, and answers to eight questions Thune had asked early last month. The senator is a Republican from South Dakota and chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

The last question was about whether the company had considered allowing customers who'd paid full price for a new battery "to seek a rebate for some of the purchase price." Apple said in December it would replace batteries on iPhone 6 and later models for $29. The company normally charges $79 to replace a battery for a phone not under warranty.

Responding to Thune's question, Apple said, "Yes, we are exploring this and will update you accordingly."

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Thune issued a statement Tuesday in response to Apple's letter.

"I appreciate Apple's response to my inquiry and the company's ongoing discussions with the committee," he said. "In those conversations, Apple has acknowledged that its initial disclosures came up short. Apple has also promised the committee some follow-up information, including an answer about additional steps it may take to address customers who purchased a new battery at full price."

The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are also looking into the issue.

"We have received questions from some government agencies and we are responding to them," Apple said in an emailed statement last week. 

You can read Apple's full letter from Feb. 2 below: 

Apple response to Senate Commerce Committee on slowing down older iPhones - Feb. 2, 2018 by jonathan_skillings on Scribd

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