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Apple has taken heat over its response to battery issues. Photo: Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Apple is considering whether to provide a rebate to customers who paid full price to replace their iPhone’s battery after an outcry over the company’s slowing down some phones to deal with power issues, it said in a letter to a lawmaker released Tuesday.

The bigger picture: Apple has taken significant heat from lawmakers and regulators over its response to problems with aging batteries in some models of its flagship product.

Be Smart: This has been widely reported as “Apple is slowing down older iPhones,” but this is misleading. Apple only slows phones in one circumstance: when an older battery can’t deliver enough power and risks crashing the device.

What they’re saying: Apple told Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune that it was “exploring” the rebate question. Since disclosing the slow down it has offered some users discounted replacement batteries. While Apple anticipates that everyone who wants a new battery will be able to get one this year, it told a second lawmaker it would consider extending the time frame for its replacement battery discounts if it hasn’t developed a new fix for the power issues by then.

“I appreciate Apple’s response to my inquiry and the company’s ongoing discussions with the committee. In those conversations, Apple has acknowledged that its initial disclosures came up short. 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 in a statement

Meanwhile: Apple has detailed how new battery management features will work in iOS 11.3 in a new support document. iPhone owners will be able to get more details on the health of their batteries and, if they choose, manually disable the feature that slows down iPhones to prevent crashes.

Go deeper: Read the letter

This post has been updated with content from Apple's response to a second lawmaker.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.

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