SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple's next major update of its mobile software will include an option that will enable owners of older iPhones to turn off a feature that slows the device to prevent aging batteries from shutting down.

The free upgrade announced Wednesday will be released this spring.

The additional controls are meant to appease iPhone owners outraged since Apple acknowledged last month that its recent software updates had been secretly slowing down older iPhones when their batteries weakened.

Many people believed Apple was purposefully undermining the performance of older iPhones to drive sales of its newer and more expensive devices. Apple insisted it was simply trying to extend the lives of older iPhones, but issued an apology last month and promised to replace batteries in affected at a discounted price of $50.

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