Apple Looks At Battery Rebates As EU Probes Shazam Deal
Under scrutiny and with their backs against the wall Apple, has told a US Senate inquiry that they are now considering to offer a rebate on replacement batteries for iPhones.
Responding to U.S. Senate questions about its decision to slow performance on older iPhones, which several analysts and millions of customers claim was a deliberate ploy to drive iPhone owners into a new iPhone Apple said that it may offer the rebates to customers who replaced their iPhone batteries before it slashed replacement fees by $50 late last year to address rising customer complaints about what is now being described as a deliberate “scam”.
The letter, dated Feb. 2, is the latest indication that Apple continues to look for ways to improve its response to the iPhone slowdown after scrutiny from customers and regulators.
The letter was sent in response to a questions sent to Apple last month by Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, who asked Apple, among other things, if it would consider providing rebates.
In other issues for Apple the US Company is facing probes over potential security violations in its handling of the issue from the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as investigations in Europe and questions from at least one consumer group in China.
The tech giant has apologized for how it handled the issue, they have also slashed the price of an iPhone battery replacement.
In its letter, Apple laid out the timeline for the software update last year that triggered customer complaints.
Apple’s excuse for nobbling iPhone 7 and 7 smartphones when they issued an iOS 10.2.1 update was that they were address spontaneous shutdowns of some older iPhone devices.
After evaluating the change’s effectiveness, Apple said, it publicly disclosed the change in February with a note describing how the update “improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns.”
Apple’s letter left some questions unclear. It didn’t respond in detail to specific questions concerning how many customers have complained to Apple about the slowdown.
The company also was vague about whether it had used similar performance-management software with previous generations of iPhones. The company said only that those phones “have different system power demands” and “did not experience the same issues.”
Multiple countries, including Austria, France, Iceland, and Spain requested that the Commission assess the acquisition to determine whether it’s allowed under a European Union merger law.
Basically, these countries want to know how big of a threat Apple owning Shazam could be to local competition. Apple will now have to ask the Commission to approve the deal, which the EU regulator could sign off on with or without extra conditions. It could also open an investigation if it has bigger concerns.
Apple acquired Shazam in December for an undisclosed sum, although the deal is reportedly worth around $400 million. We haven’t yet seen what Apple plans to do with the company, but it could incorporate the song-identifying tech into Apple Music. The Shazam app is still live, but if Apple shuts it down, Spotify would lose referrals. Spotify and Apple Music together gain 1 million clicks per day through Shazam. That could be part of the EU Commission’s concerns.