Earlier today, Apple issued a response to inquisitions from Senator John Thune regarding its iPhone battery debacle. Apple explained in the response that it is “considering” offering rebates to those customers who paid full price for battery replacements.

The letter, shared in full by Business Insider, also offers some additional details on whether or not iPhone 8 and iPhone X users could soon be plagued by the same throttling…

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Thune, who heads the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, sent Apple a clear list of questions regarding how it throttles iPhone performance, its rollout of the feature, and more.

One of Thune’s questions was whether or not Apple plans to “release a similar software update feature to throttle back processing performance for newer phone models.” If so, Thune also wanted to know “what notice” Apple plans to provide to customers beforehand.

Apple’s response, however, says that the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X all include “hardware updates” that allow for a better performance management system. This system, Apple says, allows iOS to better anticipate and avoid the unexpected shutdowns that plagued older iPhones.

Apple also notes, however, that all iPhones include basic performance management features, such as temperature control and warnings, that are required for basic safety and functionality:

Q: Does Apple plan to release a similar software update feature to throttle back processing performance for newer phone models? What notice does it plan to provide to customers before doing so?

Apple: All iPhone models have basic performance management to ensure that the battery and overall system operates as designed and internal components are protected. And, in the case of hot temperature, the performance management ensures that the device stays within safety limits. Such basic performance management is required for safety and expected function, and cannot be turned off.

iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models include hardware updates that allow a more advanced performance management system that more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown.

Interestingly, this is a change in tone from Apple’s original announcement that it slows down iPhones in correlation with battery wear. The company initially said that “we’ve extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.”

Apple’s statement today, however, isn’t that explicit. While the company stops short of firmly denying that it plans to rollout the throttling feature to the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, it implies that the newer iPhones have improved power management hardware and thus won’t require such features. Only time will tell, I suppose.


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