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PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 03: The new iPhone X is displayed at an Apple Store on November 3, 2017 in Palo Alto, California. The highly anticipated iPhone X went on sale around the world today. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

1/11/18 UPDATE!
I have a QYK listener to thank for a happy ending to this whole mess! But first the story from yesterday if you missed it. If you already read this, skip to the bottom for the update:

I hate to use you to vent but this has become the biggest headache ever. Apple got caught slowing down your phone and now they’re trying to make nice by offering you a cheaper battery so your phone isn’t as slow. Today might have been the last straw and I may jump off the iPhone bandwagon and go back to Android.

December 2016: I go kayaking at Fort Desoto. My iPhone takes a swim. The phone in a bag of rice trick didn’t work. I buy a new iPhone.

Fall 2017: My iPhone starts slowing down big time. Apps take longer to load. And the battery starts draining in record time. What a coincidence – this is just when Apple announces a new line of faster phones! What a strange twist of fate this happens at the same time!

December 2017: I finally give up and pay $1,000 for an iPhone X. I felt like I was paying Apple’s ransom since the phone I bought only a year ago was now obsolete. Off I went to International Plaza in Tampa to wait in lines at the Apple store to pay the penalty for having a 1 year old phone. I get my iPhone X and take it home. It’s nice. It’s faster. I can make animated poop emojis. That novelty wears off fast. The next day, news breaks that Apple admits they slowed your phone down in 2017. They say it’s to improve your user experience. Uh huh. Sure. Most assume it’s just to get you to do what I did… buy the iPhone X. Time Wasted: about 3 hours.

January 2018: As a “we’re sorry,” Apple offers users a discounted replacement battery. If you’re apologizing, are we now admitting that this wasn’t all about improving the user experience? I erase everything that took hours to load up on my iPhone X, box it up with all the accessories and head back over the Howard Frankland to International Plaza to return my X. I have to wait in a long line because I’m not the only one fed up. Finally, I say goodbye to the iPhone X and go home to restore my “old” (again, 1 year old) iPhone. The battery is slow as ever, so I make an appointment to get the replacement battery. Time Wasted: about 4 hours.

Yesterday: I read an online article that the battery replacement can take days. That means you have NO PHONE for days! In 2018? That’s torture. So I call the Apple Store to make sure that’s not the case. After 5 calls to Apple that get forwarded to some national answering service, I’m finally transferred and allowed to talk to an employee in the Tampa store. I’m assured that the battery replacement appointment I have for the next day would only take about 3 hours. Time Wasted: about 30 minutes.

Today: I arrive early for my appointment. Too early I’m told. I’m there when they open gates at 10. My appointment is at 10:20 so I’m told to walk around for 10 minutes. Fine. 10:10 comes and I’m checked in and an employee plugs my phone in to some tool that measures if my battery really is as bad as I say. Turns out it is. Shocker. Whatever… let’s get the ball rolling. Here’s my credit card. Charge me $29 and I’ll go kill 3 hours. Time Wasted: about 2 hours.

NOPE. Not so fast. The 3 hours is now as much as 3 MONTHS. THREE MONTHS. They don’t have any batteries in stock. And they don’t know when they’ll get new ones. So I did the drive to International Plaza just so they confirm my battery is slow. Gee thanks. And now when they get more in, I get to make ANOTHER trip over to the Apple Store, stand in line and THEN wait 3 hours. Unless they’re busy. And then it might take longer.

So I have an unknown QYK listener to thank for this tip! After mentioning this whole mess on the show last night, a caller let me know that Office Depot will replace your iPhone battery for $28!

I called a few locations around Tampa Bay this morning – it’s important you do that. Some do NOT do cell repairs. And those that do may not have batteries for your particular model. I was lucky enough to reach Mike at the Tampa Office Depot on Dale Mabry. He set aside the last battery he had for an iPhone 6 Plus.

When I got there, it took longer for him to do the paperwork than to perform the surgery on my iPhone. Not even 20 minutes later, I left with an iPhone that was back up to full speed! The battery didn’t last much longer, but definitely longer than my old battery – I attribute that to iOS 11 and all the junk Apple must have added to eat up batteries. But I can say the speed of opening apps is way up.