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Apple replaced 11 million batteries under its discounted replacement program

By Shawn Knight · 12 replies
Jan 15, 2019
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  1. Apple replaced 11 million iPhone batteries under its discounted battery replacement program according to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber.

    CEO Tim Cook reportedly revealed the figure during an all-hands meeting on January 3. Normally, Apple would have replaced 1-2 million batteries during the same period.

    Apple launched its $29 battery replacement program in December 2017 after it was discovered that the company was intentionally throttling older iPhones with degraded batteries to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

    If accurate, the program likely had a significant impact on Apple’s revenue. If you assume that 11 million people elected to keep their old iPhone in commission for just $29 versus spending a minimum of $749 for an entry-level iPhone XR, that’s around $7.9 billion in potentially lost revenue. Even if half wrong, that’s still close to $4 billion in unearned revenue.

    And that’s only assuming a buyer opts for the cheapest current-gen iPhone. The top-of-the-line iPhone XS Max starts at $1,099.

    Critics at the time accused Apple of planned obsolescence, or intentionally slowing down older phones in hopes of convincing customers to purchase new iPhones. Apple has since added battery health information to iOS to help gauge the health of your phone's battery.

    Apple is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on January 29 after the market closes.

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. Plutoisaplanet

    Plutoisaplanet TS Enthusiast Posts: 51   +48

    I replaced my battery in December specifically to extend my phone’s life (1.5yo atm). There was nothing wrong with it and it had 82% battery health. If I did buy a new phone, I wouldn’t have gone with a X, it would’ve been the same 6S as I have now.
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,322   +828

    Good. They should be placing the customer first, not profits (though they certainly aren't hurting there anyways).
     
  4. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,680   +1,928

    The only reason they lost revenue is that they designed the phone to not be repaired. People repaired their phones anyway. Apples replacement program was designed to take money away from shops for people who would have replaced their battery anyway while also giving them good PR. Mean while this program only exists because of backlash from their "battery life extension" software
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. Maybe the way to look at it is that they gained more trust/loyalty of 11 million of their customers rather than losses from less upgrades. Surely that has some kind of value to a company.
     
  6. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,791   +1,075

    Between the super high prices & lack of "real" feature updates...can't blame people for wanting to put off upgrading to a new phone.
    For my use, pretty much ANY phone, more than $500.00 is overpriced. I use a ton of phone minutes, tons of web for fill in forms required for work, text & email. But, I don't understand the "need" other than being with the "in crowd" for spending $800.00 and UP for a phone.
     
    Reehahs likes this.
  7. gusticles41

    gusticles41 TS Guru Posts: 339   +385

    In my experience supporting an account with 90 iPhones, anything below what Apple considers "90% Health" is quite noticeable. I've seen phones get the "Not at peak performance" (aka, throttling) notification as early as 88% health. Granted, battery failures and degradation will vary, But Apple is quite forgiving with how they judge the batteries.
     
    Evernessince likes this.
  8. Milkyjoe

    Milkyjoe TS Enthusiast Posts: 31   +14

    They should be put in jail for there e-waste since they want us to throw away the phone everytime a new one comes out.
     
    ForgottenLegion likes this.
  9. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,413   +2,690

    It depends on the battery chemistry but it certainly can have an impact. Many batteries will output less voltage as they degrade, which means that part will have to run at lower clocks to keep stable.
     
    gusticles41 likes this.
  10. Panda218

    Panda218 TS Evangelist Posts: 563   +278

    They are damn good about the batteries! Too bad they'll open the phone up and claim water damage cause the humidity turned the strip red by the SIM slot. This is my experience with getting repairs done, but now that we're on DEP its a lot less often that they cry water damage.
     
  11. toooooot

    toooooot TS Evangelist Posts: 576   +282

    I d imagine the cost of the butteries plus work hours cost them hundreds of millions.
     
  12. netman

    netman TS Booster Posts: 148   +41

    "If accurate, the program likely had a significant impact on Apple’s revenue. If you assume that 11 million people elected to keep their old iPhone in commission for just $29 versus spending a minimum of $749 for an entry-level iPhone XR, that’s around $7.9 billion in potentially lost revenue. Even if half wrong, that’s still close to $4 billion in unearned revenue."

    Stupid analogy!

    Poor Apple....it's getting rotten!
     
  13. ForgottenLegion

    ForgottenLegion TS Guru Posts: 332   +332

    Who cares?
     

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