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Apple tells senator it may give rebates to consumers who bought iPhone batteries

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Apple may offer rebates to customers who recently bought new iPhone batteries at full price, the company revealed in a letter it sent to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.)

The company says that it is exploring the option after Thune pressed the tech giant over its practice of slowing iPhones as their battery life deteriorates over time.

“I appreciate Apple’s response to my inquiry and the company’s ongoing discussions with the committee,” Thune said in response to Apple’s follow-up to his own letter. “In those conversations, Apple has acknowledged that its initial disclosures came up short.”

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In December, the company endured criticism when it revealed its practice of slowing down iPhones. Consumers and media outlets had long speculated that Apple slowed its phones as they get older, but the company had not publicly confirmed this before.

To quell backlash, Apple gave a public apology and said that it would offer discounted battery replacements to iPhone 6 and 6s owners.

Apple’s disclosure has prompted attention from other lawmakers and agencies.

In January, Reps. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) sent a letter to Apple also probing its battery issue.

At the end of January, Apple confirmed that it was also being investigated by federal agencies on the matter.

“Leading companies and innovators should not only ‘think different,’ they should ‘act differently’ when it comes to customer transparency and inclusion,” Kelly and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said in a statement reacting to the investigation.

“While we don’t know what will come of the [Justice Department] and [Securities and Exchange Commission] probes, we do know that all of us can work together to reach constructive solutions that promote innovation and accountability in the tech sector.” 

Tags Apple Bonnie Watson Coleman iPhone slowing John Thune Robin Kelly Senate Yvette Clarke

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