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Apple slashes price of iPhone battery replacement a month ahead of schedule

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In response to backlash over its throttling of older iPhones in an attempt to prevent battery fatigue, Apple will replace batteries in eligible phones for only $29 beginning Dec. 30. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

A full month ahead of schedule, Apple has slashed the price of battery replacement for certain iPhones to $29.

New batteries had previously cost $79 for those who didn't purchase an AppleCare maintenance plan. The company said it would lower the price by $50 by late January but abruptly began offering discounted replacements on Dec. 30.

"We expected to need more time to be ready, but we are happy to offer our customers the lower pricing right away. Initial supplies of some replacement batteries may be limited," Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller told ABC.

The special pricing, which is available worldwide, applies to out-of-warranty iPhone 6 and later models until December 2018. Owners can make a service appointment through Apple's website.

Earlier this week, Apple apologized for secretly slowing down older iPhones, a move it said was necessary to avoid unexpected shutdowns related to battery fatigue.

Many customers had interpreted the move as a way to for Apple to juice demand for newer iPhone models, their suspicions fueled by the fact that the company didn't initially disclose the slowdowns or its reasons for them.

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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technologyiphoneapplebatterycellphoneelectronicsu.s. & world