Apple to Sell Modified iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in Germany to Skirt Sales Ban

Apple today confirmed rumors that it will start selling modified iPhone models in its German stores to comply with a patent infringement lawsuit Qualcomm won against the company in December.

The California-based company said it had "no choice" but to replace Intel chips in the iPhone models with chips from Qualcomm in order to allow them to be sold again in the country.

"Qualcomm is attempting to use injunctions against our products to try to get Apple to succumb to their extortionist demands. In many cases they are using patents they purchased or that have nothing to do with their cellular technology to harass Apple and other industry players," an Apple spokesperson said.

"To ensure all iPhone models can again be available to customers in Germany, we have no choice but to stop using Intel chips and ship our phones with Qualcomm chips in Germany. Qualcomm is working to eliminate competition by any means they can, harming consumers and stifling industry innovation along the way."
Sources in German retail hinted last week that Apple was working on new versions of the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, 8, and 8 Plus with updated modem hardware that does not violate the injunction levied against it in Germany that resulted in a sales ban on the devices.

Mobile chip supplier Qualcomm sued Apple in Germany alleging that some older iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models violated Qualcomm patents related to so-called "envelope tracking," which helps mobile phones save battery power while sending and receiving wireless signals. The German court sided with Qualcomm and demanded Apple stop selling the offending iPhones in the country.

In its ongoing legal dispute with Qualcomm, Apple has also had some iPhone models banned in China. However, Apple was able to get around that ban with a software update and has continued selling iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models in that country.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone 8

This article, "Apple to Sell Modified iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 in Germany to Skirt Sales Ban" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple to Stop Selling iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 Models in Germany While Appealing Broader Sales Ban [Updated]

In a statement issued to CNBC, Apple has indicated that it plans to appeal a German court's decision to issue a preliminary injunction—aka sales ban—on select iPhone models containing chips from Intel and Apple supplier Qorvo.


In the meantime, Apple said iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models will not be available for purchase at its retail stores in Germany:
Qualcomm's campaign is a desperate attempt to distract from the real issues between our companies. Their tactics, in the courts and in their everyday business, are harming innovation and harming consumers. Qualcomm insists on charging exorbitant fees based on work they didn't do and they are being investigated by governments all around the world for their behavior. We are of course disappointed by this verdict and we plan to appeal. All iPhone models remain available to customers through carriers and resellers in 4,300 locations across Germany. During the appeal process, iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models will not be available at Apple's 15 retail stores in Germany. iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR will remain available in all our stores.
Earlier today, reports said a German court ruled that select iPhone models containing a combination of chips from Intel and Apple supplier Qorvo violated one of Qualcomm's patents around so-called "envelope tracking," a feature that helps preserve battery life when sending and receiving wireless signals.

In its statement, Apple said the latest iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR models remain available for purchase at all of its stores in Germany. The older iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models will also remain available for purchase at authorized resellers and carriers in Germany, according to the company.

Reuters reported that the preliminary injunction will not go into immediate effect if Apple appeals, but legal expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents informed MacRumors that the injunction "is enforceable even during an appeal," which perhaps explains why Apple pulled iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 models from its shelves in the country.


Mueller also said the ruling applies up to the iPhone X, which Apple no longer sells in Germany, which would explain why the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR remain available for purchase in the country.

Qorvo's intellectual property lawyer Mike Baker via CNBC:
We believe our envelope tracking chip does not infringe the patent in suit, and the court would have come to a different conclusion if it had considered all the evidence. We're disappointed that the inventor and designer of our chip, who attended the hearing, wasn't given the opportunity to testify or present other evidence that disproves Qualcomm's claim of infringement. The International Trade Commission has already determined that our envelope tracker chip does not infringe the U.S. counterpart to the patent at issue in this case. We currently do not expect that this decision will have any impact on our business with Apple.
Intel's general counsel Steven Rodgers:
Qualcomm's goal is not to vindicate its intellectual property rights, but rather to drive competition out of the market for premium modem chips, and to defend a business model that ultimately harms consumers.
Apple and Qualcomm are engaged in a major legal battle spanning multiple countries, including China, where a court issued a similar preliminary injunction on select iPhones last week over two separate Qualcomm patents.

Apple continues to sell the affected iPhone models in China and believes it is in compliance with the ruling. Earlier this week, it made some minor changes in iOS 12.1.2 to address the Qualcomm patents in China, including introducing a new animation for force closing apps.


Last year, Apple accused Qualcomm of anticompetitive business practices over chip-related licensing fees, while Qualcomm has accused Apple of sharing its trade secrets with Intel among other illegal actions. In the U.S., the FTC is also taking Qualcomm to court next month over the alleged monopolistic behavior.

Update:: In a press release, Qualcomm said the judgment is immediately enforceable once Qualcomm posts the necessary bonds and that Apple's request to the court for a stay of the injunction was denied. Qualcomm says the court also found Apple liable for monetary damages in an amount to be determined.

Qualcomm's general counsel Don Rosenberg issued the following statement to MacRumors:
Two respected courts in two different jurisdictions just in the past two weeks have now confirmed the value of Qualcomm's patents and declared Apple an infringer, ordering a ban on iPhones in the important markets of Germany and China.
Qualcomm expects to post the required bonds within a few days.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone 8

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Apple Still Charging Customers Over $300 for iPhone 7 Microphone Defect Despite Previously Offering Free Repairs

In May of 2018, Apple acknowledged a microphone issue affecting some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models running iOS 11.3 or later in an internal document made available to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers. MacRumors obtained the document from a reliable source earlier this year.


An excerpt from Apple's document:
Some customers might report that after they've updated to iOS 11.3, the microphone on their iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus doesn't work and the speaker button is grayed out when they make or receive a call.

Symptoms:
- The speaker button is grayed out during calls
- Other people are unable to hear the customer on cellular or FaceTime calls
- If a customer plays back a video or voice memo that they've made after installing iOS 11.3, there is no sound
Apple's document then provided troubleshooting steps for its service providers to follow, including disconnecting any Bluetooth headsets or accessories connected to the iPhone. If the issue persisted, and the iPhone was out-of-warranty, Apple advised service providers to "request a warranty exception" with the company.

For a short time, Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers were able to proceed with repairs at no cost to the customer.

"I just had my wife's iPhone 7 replaced this morning," wrote one MacRumors forum member on July 30, 2018, in a discussion topic about the issue. "Out of warranty and Apple took care of the bill. The mic on the device had failed."

The exemptions abruptly ended in July of 2018, though, when Apple deleted its internal document related to the microphone issue and prevented free repairs from being processed through its service portal. Since then, many Apple retail and support employees have refused to acknowledge the policy ever existed.

MacRumors has received several emails from affected customers since we published our article in July, but there has been little we can do to help. Apple did not respond to our original request for comment, so we've followed up today.

The microphone issue appears to remain a problem as of iOS 12.1.1, but Apple's document never identified a cause. Based on the number of users affected, it is almost certainly a hardware defect, so it's unclear why Apple is no longer offering free repairs and forcing customers to pay out of pocket for a fix.

Apple's out-of-warranty repair fee for this issue is over $300 in the United States, according to affected customers on the MacRumors forums and Twitter. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices still within Apple's limited one-year warranty period or covered by AppleCare+ remain eligible for a free repair.

"I had this issue a month ago and paid $349 for a replacement," said one MacRumors reader in an email. "Two weeks ago my brother in law started having the same issue with his iPhone 7 Plus and today my wife's iPhone 7 started doing the same thing. It's a new phone and barely 15 months old."

"Unfortunately, I like hundreds have been told by Apple that 'we don't know what you're talking about,' and Apple wants $319 to send me a refurbished phone that they can't tell me won't have the same problem," another reader emailed.

Twitter is home to similar complaints:

It's worth noting that a few customers have managed to argue their way to a free repair, but this is not the common result.

Apple has a track record of great customer service, and it offers several different public repair programs for hardware issues on various products, but it appears to be leaving customers in the dust here for reasons unclear. We'd love to hear Apple's side of the situation if the company chooses to respond.

In the meantime, repairs can be initiated by booking an appointment at a Genius Bar or at an Apple Authorized Service Provider via the Contact Apple Support page: iPhone → Repairs & Physical Damage → Unable to Hear Through Receiver or Speakers → Built-in Speaker → Bring In For Repair.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7

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How to Get Siri to Play a Daily News Digest

If you own an Alexa smart device, you'll likely have used the "What's new?" or "What's happening?" voice command to hear your daily news briefing, which can be customized to include your own interests.


Siri has a similar feature that uses the Podcasts app to bring you a daily news digest, which you can also customize to an extent. It can be invoked on HomePod, Apple Watch, and any iPhone or iPad running iOS 11.2.5 or later.

There are a couple of things to note before using Siri's news brief feature. The last time we checked, it was limited to users based in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia, and it isn't available on Siri for Mac, regardless of where you're based. With those caveats in mind, here's how to get it working.

  1. To get a news briefing on your Apple device, say "Hey Siri, tell me the news." Alternatively, on an iOS device, hold down the Home button or Side button and say "Tell me the news" or "Play the news."

  2. On iPhone and iPad, tap Open Podcasts to launch the Podcasts app and see which news show is currently playing or to pause the episode. You can also control audio playback from the Control Center.

  3. To change Siri's default news source, you can say "Switch to Sky News" or "Switch to Washington News," for example.

  4. To hear a one-off news brief from a different source, you can say "Play news from NPR" or "Play news from Fox News," for example.

  5. To hear a news brief for a specific topic, you can say "Play business news" or "Play sports news," for example.

  6. To hear a topical news brief from a specific source, you can say "Play business news from Bloomberg" or "Play sports news from the BBC," for example.
As you might have guessed, news sources can differ depending on your region. If you're in the U.S. for example, Siri will happily play news from a range of media outlets including ESPN, NPR, Fox News, CNN, Washington Post, CNBC, and Bloomberg. As with most Siri features, improvements and additions are likely ongoing, so it's worth requesting your preferred news source just to see if it can find the relevant daily digest for you.

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78 More Customers Sue Apple Over ‘Secretly Throttling’ Older iPhones in Latest Class Action

Class action lawsuits continue to mount against Apple over the iPhone Slowdown saga.


For those unaware, late last year, Apple admitted that it throttles the maximum performance of some older iPhone models with chemically aged batteries when necessary in order to prevent the devices from unexpectedly shutting down.

Apple views this as a feature intended to provide the best user experience possible, and make iPhones last as long as possible, but it wasn't very transparent about the changes, leading some customers to believe that Apple is purposefully slowing down older iPhones as a form of planned obsolescence.

In an apology letter to customers over its lack of communication, Apple emphatically denied that it would ever "do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades."

Not everyone believes Apple, however, as a group of 78 customers from multiple states have jointly filed a class action lawsuit against Apple this week, accusing the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhones to force customers to upgrade to a newer iPhone, calling it "one of the largest consumer frauds in history."

The full complaint is exhaustive, as most court documents are, but the gist of it is that Apple allegedly committed fraud by secretly slowing down older iPhones as part of a money-making scheme. Through these actions, Apple is accused of violating California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act and other laws.

An excerpt from the complaint, filed in a U.S. district court in San Jose on Monday and obtained by MacRumors:
While Plaintiffs and the class need not attribute any motive behind Apple's intentional degradation of the Devices, it is evident that Apple continued to do so for the simple reason most frauds are committed: money.

Although technically complex in part, the scheme was logical and simple: The Devices were designed defectively, and Apple released software updates to conceal the Defects, all the while exacerbating the effects of the Defects—principally decreased performance—so that Device users had no choice but to purchase new batteries or upgrade their Devices, resulting in additional payments to Apple and a sustained (albeit forced) customer base.
Apple's VP of marketing Greg Joswiak recently denied this theory, calling it "about the craziest thinking in the world."
Which is about the craziest thinking in the world, where I give you a shitty experience so you go buy our new product. But, to your point, there's been so much that people forgot about how great software updates are. First of all, we have a 95 percent customer satisfaction rate with iOS 11… it's great. We have delivered through the years amazing features, from the App Store to iMessage."
The plaintiffs, who reside all across the United States, are aiming to become the representatives of the proposed class, including all users of the iPhone 5 and newer and various iPad models, including the iPad Air, iPad Pro, and iPad mini.

It's unclear why the complaint includes the iPhone 5-5s and iPads, which are not affected by the performance management, according to Apple.

This case, along with over 60 others, will likely be heard by the Honorable Judge Edward J. Davila, after the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered all iPhone slowdown lawsuits to be consolidated as one large class action in the U.S. District Court for Northern California, where he presides.

Apple has already taken a few courses of action beyond apologizing, including reducing the price of battery replacements to $29 for iPhone 6 and newer through the end of 2018, and offering a $50 credit to all customers who paid for an out-of warranty battery replacement for an iPhone 6 or later in 2017.

Moreover, in iOS 11.3, Apple introduced a new Battery Health feature in beta to track an iPhone's battery and performance status.

When users first install iOS 11.3 or later, all performance management features that might have been enabled are automatically disabled. If an unexpected shutdown occurs, however, the performance management is turned back on and must be disabled manually thereafter—although Apple doesn't recommend it.

If you are experiencing issues with or have questions about your iPhone battery, contact Apple Support. Also read our guide on how to get an iPhone's battery replaced at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone SE

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Apple Offering $50 Credit to Customers Who Paid for iPhone 6 and Later Battery Replacements From January to December 2017

Apple is providing a $50 credit to all customers who paid for an out-of warranty battery replacement for an iPhone 6 or later between the dates of January 1, 2017 and December 28, 2017, the company announced today.

The $50 credit is an extension of Apple's $29 battery replacement program, which went into effect in December of 2017 to provide lower-cost battery replacement options to customers potentially affected by performance throttling due to battery degradation.


All customers who had a battery replacement from an Apple Store, Apple Repair Center, or an Apple Authorized Service Provider are eligible for the $50 credit, which will be provided as an electronic funds transfer or a credit on the credit card used to pay for the battery replacement.

Apple is only issuing refunds for replacements completed at an Apple authorized service location, so those who may have received repairs from a third-party repair outlet will not be eligible for a refund.

The program is available to customers who paid the full $79 price for an out-of-warranty battery replacement on an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, SE, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, or 7 Plus. The $50 credit will bring the price paid for the replacement down to $29, the same price Apple is charging for replacement batteries through the end of 2018.

Those who paid for an out-of-warranty battery replacement will be contacted by Apple via email between May 23 and July 27 with instructions on how to receive the credit. Customers who believe they are eligible for a credit but have not received an email by August 1 should contact Apple support for assistance.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Caution)

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iPhone Slowdown Lawsuits Ordered to Be Centralized in Northern California District Court

Apple's legal battle against dozens of iPhone slowdown class action lawsuits will take place in a courtroom near its headquarters.


The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation today disclosed it has ordered [PDF] all iPhone slowdown lawsuits to be transferred to the U.S. District Court for Northern California and, with the consent of that court, assigned to the Honorable Judge Edward J. Davila for consolidated pretrial proceedings.

More than half of the 61 lawsuits—and counting—were filed in the Northern District of California to begin with, so centralization of the remaining complaints filed in other states should help to streamline the legal process.

An excerpt from the order:
These actions share factual questions arising from allegations that Apple included code in updates to its mobile operating system (iOS) that significantly reduced the performance of older-model iPhones. Plaintiffs also allege that Apple misrepresented the nature of the iOS updates and failed to adequately disclose to iPhone owners the impact the iOS updates would have on the performance of their iPhones.

Discovery regarding the engineering of the iPhone and the iOS updates likely will be technical and complex. Plaintiffs assert similar causes of action for false advertising, alleged unfair business practices, trespass to chattels, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. Moreover, plaintiffs bring these actions on behalf of overlapping putative classes of iPhone owners.
The first lawsuit was filed in late December, after Apple revealed that it throttles the maximum performance of some older iPhone models with chemically aged batteries when necessary in order to prevent the devices from unexpectedly shutting down. The changes were first introduced in iOS 10.2.1.

Apple didn't mention the change when iOS 10.2.1 was first released, and in a statement issued a month later, it still only mentioned vague "improvements" resulting in a significant reduction in unexpected shutdowns.

Apple only revealed exactly what the so-called "improvements" were after Primate Labs founder John Poole visualized that some iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 devices suddenly had lower benchmark scores starting with iOS 10.2.1 and iOS 11.2 respectively, despite operating at maximum performance on previous versions.

Apple apologized for its lack of communication in December, and reduced the price of battery replacements to $29 for iPhone 6 and newer through the end of 2018. Apple also released iOS 11.3 earlier this week with a new feature that enables users to track their iPhone battery's health and performance status.

Moreover, when users first install iOS 11.3, all performance management features that might have been enabled are automatically disabled. If an unexpected shutdown occurs, however, the performance management is turned back on and must be disabled manually thereafter—although Apple doesn't recommend it.

In addition to the lawsuits, Apple has also faced questions from government officials and consumer protection groups in the United States, Canada, France, South Korea, and a handful of other countries.

We've already answered many frequently asked questions about Apple's power management process, which can be avoided entirely by replacing your iPhone's battery if necessary. Read our guide on how to get an iPhone's battery replaced at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone SE

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How to Disable Apple’s Performance Management Features in Older iPhones in the iOS 11.3 Beta

Starting with the second beta of iOS 11.3, Apple has introduced a new "Battery Health" feature that's designed to provide you with more information about the state of your battery and whether or not it's impacting device performance.


If your iPhone has a degraded battery that is leading to throttling issues, the "Battery Health" section will let you know about it, and it will provide an option to turn off performance management to put a stop to any throttling that's going on.

There are, however, some nuances to this feature that you need to know about, which we'll outline below.

When Installing iOS 11.3


When you first install the iOS 11.3 update, all performance management features that might have been enabled are automatically disabled. So when you first install the beta, you don't need to do anything because performance management is turned off.

You will, however, need to watch out for an unexpected shutdown that turns your device off, because if this happens and you have a bad battery, performance management will be turned back on. More on this below.

Accessing Battery Health


You can check out the status of your battery in the new Battery Health section, which will tell you the maximum capacity of the battery in your iPhone and whether or not it's running at peak performance capacity. Here's how to get to it:

  1. Open up the Settings app.

  2. Scroll down to "Battery" and tap it.

  3. Tap on "Battery Health."

All the info you need to know about your battery is listed here. Maximum Capacity will let you know how your battery is performing overall, and it directly correlates to how long your iPhone will last on a single charge.

Peak Performance Capability will let you know if a degraded battery has resulted in performance slowdowns.

What it Looks Like When Your Device Running Normally


When your iPhone is running as normal, under the "Peak Performance Capability" section, it will say "Your battery is currently supporting normal peak performance."


You may still have somewhat degraded Maximum Battery capacity as this number slowly declines after charging cycles, but throttling does not kick in until the battery becomes severely degraded and can no longer offer enough power to support spikes in processor usage.

What it Looks Like if You Have a Bad Battery


If you have a bad battery, it will say "Your battery's health is significantly degraded," and it will let you know that an Apple Authorized Service Provider can replace the battery to restore full performance.


It will also tell you if performance management features have been turned on, and it will provide an option to turn them off.

What Happens When You Have an Unexpected Shutdown


As mentioned above, all performance management features are disabled automatically upon installing iOS 11.3. If your device has a bad battery and it shuts down because of it, performance management will be automatically enabled.

If this happens, you will see the following message under "Peak Performance Capability" in Battery Health.

"This iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. Performance management has been applied to prevent this from happening again."


If you have an unexpected shutdown AND your battery capacity is significantly degraded, you'll see a slightly different message suggesting an immediate battery replacement.


How to Disable Performance Management if Your Battery is Bad


After experiencing an unexpected shutdown, performance management is turned on automatically on your iPhone. You will, however, see a small "Disable" option when this happens, and if you tap it, you'll be given the option to disable performance management.


Disabling performance management will turn off any throttling that's been applied, but it will leave your device vulnerable to future unexpected shutdowns.

You will not see the option to disable performance management until your device has experienced at least one unexpected shutdown, and once you disable it, there is no option to turn it on again.


If your iPhone shuts down again while performance management is disabled, though, performance management will automatically turn it on again.

This means you will need to turn performance management off again each time your device experiences an unexpected shutdown, as Apple believes slower performance is preferable to sudden losses of power.

How to Permanently Disable Performance Management


If you have a device with a bad battery that is experiencing unexpected shutdowns and is subjected to Apple's performance management feature, the only permanent solution is to get a new battery.

Having your battery replaced will restore an older iPhone to full working order, with maximum capacity and performance capabilities.

Apple is offering $29 battery replacements for the iPhone 6 and newer through the end of 2018. Your battery does not need to be experiencing shutdowns to be replaced - you can also get a replacement for a battery that's not operating at maximum capacity, no questions asked. You can get one $29 battery replacement per device.

Newer devices like the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X that have a high maximum capacity near 100% don't need replacement, but at levels below 90%, it could be worth getting a new battery while Apple is still offering them at a discounted price. To get a battery replacement, contact Apple Support.

If you have AppleCare+ or are under your one-year device warranty and have a battery that's below 80 percent, you won't even need to pay the $29 fee -- that's considered a defective battery and Apple will replace it for free.


Devices Impacted by Performance Management


Performance management features have been installed on the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE. On other iPhones, like the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, you will be able to see readings for Maximum Capacity and Peak Performance Capability, but you won't need to worry about throttling or unexpected shutdowns.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iPhone X

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Apple Considering Offering Rebates to Customers Who Purchased Full-Price iPhone Batteries

Apple is considering providing rebates to customers who purchased full-price iPhones before its reduced-cost $29 battery replacements were made available, reports Recode.

Apple confirmed that it is exploring the option following an inquiry from U.S. Senator John Thune, who asked whether Apple would offer rebates to customers who had already purchased new batteries at higher prices.


Has Apple explored whether consumers who paid the full, non-discounted price for a replacement batter in an effort to restore performance should be allowed to seek a rebate for some of the purchase price?"

Apple vice president for public policy Cynthia Hogan answered Thune's inquiry today and said that Apple is indeed looking into whether a rebate program can be provided to customers. "Yes, we are exploring this and will update you accordingly," she told Thune.

Apple began offering customers with an iPhone 6 and newer low-cost $29 battery replacements starting in December following outrage over the company's decision to introduce an iPhone-slowing power management feature in older devices.

Though the power management feature was first introduced in iOS 10.2.1 early in 2017, the details behind how it works were not fully discovered or explained by Apple until December. As it turns out, in older devices with degraded batteries, the power management feature can result in processor throttling at times of peak usage. Replacing the battery in affected devices solves the problem.

When Apple made $29 battery replacements available to customers in late December it also provided some customers who had already made a purchase with refunds, but the company limited refunds to batteries purchased on or after December 14. Customers who purchased a replacement battery before December 14 at the full $79 price have not been able to get their money back.

Should Apple make a rebate program available to customers who previously made a battery purchase, it would presumably cover customers who purchased replacement batteries earlier in the year.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7

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NYPD Rolls Out iPhone 7 and 7 Plus Handsets to Manhattan Officers, Replacing Windows Phones

The New York Police Department is making good on a promise made last year to dole out iPhone handsets to its officers, replacing around 36,000 Windows Phones as part of a new hardware upgrade strategy, reports the New York Daily News.

The NYPD has been rolling out hundreds of the phones since Christmas to Manhattan cops, who can choose between iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models. The platform switch comes at no cost to the police department because the handsets are filed as upgrades under the agency's contract with AT&T.

Image via New York Daily News

"We've been giving out about 600 phones a day," said NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Information and Technology Jessica Tisch. "We're seeing a lot of excitement."

Police in the Bronx and Staten Island have already received their new phones, with officers in the Queens and Brooklyn boroughs next in line to make the switch to iOS.

Armed with Apple's smartphones, the NYPD has seen its response times to critical crimes in progress drop by 14 percent, according to Tisch. The iPhones also allow cops to get videos and surveillance pictures of wanted suspects within minutes of a crime.
"I truly feel like it's the ultimate tool to have as a patrol cop," said Police Officer Christopher Clampitt. "We get to the location a lot quicker," he said. "By the time the dispatcher puts out the job (on the radio) we're already there."
Before the rollout, NYPD's smartphones of choice were Nokia's Lumia 830 and Lumia 640 XL, released in October 2014 and March 2015 respectively. The discontinued devices run Windows Phone 8.1, which Microsoft ended support for in July 2017 to focus on its newer Windows 10 Mobile platform and cloud-based services.

In October 2014, New York City officials announced plans to roll out handheld devices to every NYPD officer for the first time ever, along with tablets for every patrol car. The $160 million initiative was part of a plan to bring the department into the 21st century.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Neutral)

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