Apple Tells Senators Battery Reimbursement Still in Consideration

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. will continue to explore possibly reimbursing customers who bought full-price iPhone batteries, but stopped short of guaranteeing the refund.

“We are exploring this and will update you accordingly,” the iPhone maker said in a Feb. 2 letter to Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.).

The letter, released today by the committee, was a response to a set of questions Thune sent on Jan. 9, asking the company about its reimbursement plans and customer service following a revelation that it had deliberately slowed some older iPhone models’ performance.

Apple faced a wave of consumer complaints in December after acknowledging it had slowed some older iPhones through a software update to prevent unexpected shutdowns of weakened batteries. Apple soon began offering replacement batteries at a discount. But some customers purchased them at full price before the discount was in effect.

Apple also separately told the Senate committee the company’s initial disclosures about device performance issues “came up short,” Thune said in a statement today. The company will continue its discussions with the committee, he said.

“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,” Thune said in a statement today.