SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Apple is apologizing for secretly slowing down older iPhones, which it says was necessary to avoid unexpected shutdowns related to battery fatigue.

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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Many customers had interpreted the move as a way to juice demand for newer models.

It previously cost $79 for those who didn’t purchase the Apple Care maintenance plan.

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The replacement plan begins in late January for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later that requires a new battery.

Apple will issue an update to its operating system early next year to give users a better understanding of the health of their battery.

Hostile customer reaction was swift after a report this month uncovered the intentional slowdown in speed tests.

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