What Apple’s Battery Mea Culpa Can Teach Your Small Business About Transparency

Apple Apologizes for Slowing Your iPhone

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) officially admitted it was slowing down iPhones as their batteries age. The reasoning for this move by the company makes perfect sense, but it was the execution which will cost Apple in terms of money and a black eye on its reputation and brand.

Apple Apologizes for Slowing Your iPhone

In its apology and explanation of how aging batteries affect iPhone performance, Apple was thorough and didn’t mince any words.

“We apologize” the company said. “We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”

For many small businesses still using the older iPhones, the optimization steps Apple has taken can be seen as a positive. Again, this depends entirely on how you feel about not being told it was taking place.

The steps Apple took were to dynamically manage the maximum performance of the batteries to prevent a shutdown of some system components when needed. It started with iOS 10.2.1 and it now includes iOS 11.2 for iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE as well as iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

Making Amends

The company said it is taking the following steps to, “Regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions.”

Firstt it is lowering the price of out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50, from $79 to $29. This goes for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later needing battery replacements. The offer will start in late January and end in December 2018 globally.

There will also be an update to the iOS software in early 2018 giving users increased visibility into the health of their battery life. This will allow them to see if the condition of the battery is affecting performance.

Details of the plan will be provided in the near future. You can follow the progress on apple.com.

What Can You Learn From Apple’s Mistake?

First of all, it is almost impossible to hide anything in today’s digital ecosystem. Transparency is the way to go. If you let your customers know what you plan on doing regarding the products and services they purchase from you, it won’t come back to bite you in the future.

You have to be proactive in the way you communicate with your customers. You have social media, websites, email and SMS to make this possible. Had Apple been upfront about what it was doing, the company wouldn’t be where it is now. Omitting a simple explanation will prevent customers from questioning the hard-earned reputation of your brand. Don’t let it happen to you.

Image: Apple

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.

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