Apple is under fire in several big markets across the world for deliberately slowing down iPhones with degraded batteries, and while some accuse the firm of planned obsolescence, CEO Tim Cook says this was never the plan.

In an interview with ABC, which Tim Cook used to announce an update that will allow users to block the iPhone slowdown, the Apple CEO also explains that customers were ignoring the release notes of iOS updates, so they didn’t know that a performance impact was implemented.

Cook tries to minimize Apple’s wrongdoings in this saga, instead putting the blame on iPhone owners for not reading iOS changelogs more carefully.

“When we did put it [the software update] out, we did say what it was, but I don’t think a lot of people were paying attention,” Cook said in the interview.

“Maybe we should have been clearer, as well,” he continued in an attempt to suggest that Apple is aware the blamed update wasn’t necessarily pushed to devices with transparency in mind.

“We deeply apologize for anybody that thinks we had some other kind of motivation,” the CEO continued, as it tried to fight claims of planned obsolescence.

Class action lawsuits

Tim Cook’s statements, however, don’t change much, and Apple now has to face an avalanche of class-action lawsuits, some of which call for the company to pay record damages. One such lawsuit demands $999 billion for iPhone customers taking part in the class action.

Furthermore, Apple is being questioned by the governments of several countries, including the US and China, over the way it slowed down devices and how it plans to address the problem. France, on the other hand, has already launched an investigation for planned obsolescence, and it could all end badly for Apple with a hefty fine.

In the meantime, Apple has a hard time replacing degraded batteries as part of the $29 discount program, as the company has ran out of new batteries in the majority of stores and appointments for servicing have been pushed back to March and even April. The campaign runs until the end of this year.