Analyst: Apple’s ‘batterygate’ solution may mean 16 million fewer iPhones sold this year

“Apple Inc.’s offer to replace iPhone batteries cheaply may cut sales of new handsets by millions of units this year, according to Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz,” Julie Verhage reports for Bloomberg. “‘Even a small percentage [of customers] opting for battery replacement over upgrade could have meaningful impact on iPhone sales,’ he wrote in a note on Wednesday.”

“Apple recently said it intentionally slows iPhones with older batteries to prevent the handsets abruptly shutting down. The Cupertino, California-based company stressed that it hadn’t intentionally slowed the devices to encourage users to purchase newer models,” Verhage reports. “In response to customer complaints, Apple apologized and cut the price of replacement batteries from $79 to $29 for many older iPhones.”

Verhage reports, “Moskowitz estimates around 519 million users are eligible for the battery offer, and that in the most likely scenario 10 percent take the $29 offer, and about 30 percent of those people decide not to buy a new iPhone this year.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If iPhone sales are negatively impacted, you can see why some think that Apple wanted to keep what they were doing a secret. If people knew that a $79 battery replacement would give them an iPhone that performed like it did on day one, a meaningful percentage would take that option versus buying a new iPhone. Now that it’s just $29 this year, that percentage will naturally increase.

Then again, as Hanlon’s razor states: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

Apple’s made up of people. People are imperfect. We’ll take Apple’s word for it that they “always wanted… customers to be able to use their iPhones as long as possible” and that they “have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”

An Apple conspiracy theory blooms – January 2, 2018
Apple clarifies policy on $29 battery replacements: All iPhone 6 and later devices are eligible – January 2, 2018
Why Apple’s response to iPhone ‘batterygate’ is brilliant – December 30, 2017
Australian lawyers to launch largest-ever class action against Apple over iPhone ‘batterygate’ – December 29, 2017
The most annoying things about Apple’s iPhone ‘batterygate’ apology – December 29, 2017
iFixit discounts iPhone battery replacement kits as Apple cuts prices, apologizes for the confusion – December 29, 2017
15 class action lawsuits filed against Apple for throttling iPhones with aging batteries – December 29, 2017
Apple apologizes for poor communication about iPhone batteries and performance; slashes battery replacement cost from $79 to $29 – December 28, 2017
No, Apple’s throttling of iPhones with aging batteries is not planned obsolescence – December 28, 2017
Apple execs face jail in France after lawsuit over slowing down iPhones – December 28, 2017
Korea seeks explanation from Apple for slowing down devices without warning – December 28, 2017
Apple now facing 8 lawsuits over throttling processors in iPhones with aging batteries – December 27, 2017
Apple tarnished their brand with clandestine iPhone battery management and processor throttling – December 27, 2017
Should Apple replace aging iPhone batteries for free instead of throttling processor speed? – December 21, 2017
Apple confirms iPhones with older batteries will take hits in performance – December 20, 2017
iPhone performance and battery age – December 18, 2017
Apple met with Chinese regulators to discuss iPhone 6s unexpected shutdowns – February 10, 2017
Rumor: Apple may extend iPhone 6s battery replacement program to iPhone 6 – January 17, 2017
A message from Apple about 
iPhone and unexpected shutdowns – December 2, 2016
Apple offers free battery replacement for ‘very small number’ of iPhone 6s units with unexpected shutdown issue – November 21, 2016


      1. Bot expresses his opinions in the way he sees fit. Nothing wrong with that approach, he has as much right to them as anyone else. Don’t put Apple on a pedestal where they don’t belong. Bottom line…. American company and they’re all trash. The only people the leaders care about are themselves everyone else is just a number. It’s been this way for years.

  1. MDN..WTF!!!

    “If so, you can see why some think that Apple wanted to keep what they were doing a secret. If people knew that a $79 battery replacement would give them an iPhone that performed like it did on day one, a meaningful percentage would take that option versus buying a new iPhone. Now that it’s just $29 this year, that percentage will naturally increase.”

    Are you justifying the secrecy and proving the class action suits correct? If so…hats off to you, even I didn’t go there.

    Holy crap!

  2. I think the premise of this article is a fallacy. In fact, I think the impact will be negligible.

    Apple’s “fix” has been prolonging the life of old phones with tired batteries, so folks weren’t replacing them (unlike the premise of the article).

    And, the supposed slow down is probably not visible to people most of the time. It only throttles at peak load with a partially depleted battery, and only for milliseconds at a time, so this “throttling” is not an impetus for upgrading.

    1. Here’s the problem with your statement – ‘peak load’ can include activities as mundane as launching an app, scrolling ones’ Facebook feed or a multimedia-heavy web site in Safari. Both of these have caused my iPhone 6 with worn out battery to shut down when the battery meter read above 60% remaining. After the software update it doesn’t shut down but most activities are super slow, almost to the point of being unusable. So it’s not a case of “probably not visible to people most of the time”. It’s very visible very often.

      1. “Both of these have caused my iPhone 6 with worn out battery to shut down when the battery meter read above 60% remaining.”

        Lithium ion batteries decay with usage and each recharge. From your post it is obvious that you use your near 3 year old iPhone a lot. Ergo your battery has deteriorated A LOT.

        When your battery shows 60% battery remaining it is not saying you have 60% of the battery’s original capacity, it is saying your battery has 60% of its current, deteriorated capacity. That is not the same thing as new capacity. Further “capacity” is not a measurement of burst strength. As lithium iOn batteries deteriorate the strength of the charge they hold deteriorates as well.

        The more I read angry posts about iPhone batteries, the more I am convinced there was no way Apple would come out of this unscathed, BECAUSE SO MANY BATTERY POWERED DEVICE USERS ARE IGNORANT OF BATTERY CHEMISTRY.

        Apple’s only mistake was assuming that the average user was smarter than they really are.

        1. Nothing Steve said contradicts what you are saying. All he said was his phone shut down under heavy use when the battery had plenty of charge, before the update was applied. After the update same process performs like crap instead of shutting down. He never said 60% was 60% of original capacity not sure why you are harping on that. We all now know that the older battery’s “burst strength” is not the same as a brand new one, just like the capacity is lower as well.

        2. And also, only mistake? NO, one of Apples many mistakes was to not alert the user immediately that their phone battery needed to be replaced instead of throttling the performance. FCOL every time my battery gets to 20 percent my phone prompts me to switch to Low Power Mode. It’s ridiculous that they did not include a similar kind of warning when iOS is totally aware that the battery cannot handle the peak load and starts doing its throttling.

        3. Since I cannot edit….
          I didn’t mean “instead of”, I meant warn the user that battery needs to be replaced because the software must now throttle performance in order to prevent shut downs, or something to that effect.

  3. Idunno, my 6S and 6 are on their way to get their batteries replaced but I’ve had an iPhone X for several weeks. I think it’s just wise to take advantage of a good deal. I don’t think this battery issue will negate many fiuture sales. JMO.

  4. Here’s what I don’t understand. Why is it that when I plug my iPhone 6+ into a charger that the performance doesn’t reinstate itself back to 100%?

    What if my Honda Civic derated itself on purpose after 3 years to the point of being undrivable? Or a television degrades to darkness on purpose, etc, etc?

    The bottom line is that the performance of my decently performing product was tampered with on purpose when there was an easy and economical solution to the problem. I was sold a product that had a processor and video that was “twice as fast as the previous version”. It’s kind of easy to see how the latest version is twice as fast as the previous one when all you have to do is downgrade the original one through a software “update”.

    I feel ripped off and defrauded of my hard earned money and somebody should end up standing trial on criminal charges.

    Oh and for the fanboys out there that want to screech troll, I am a VERY good Apple customer that has spent thousands ………. for now……. but I’m getting seriously pissed off.

    iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 x2, iPhone 5 x2, iPhone 6+ x2, iPad 3rd gen, IPad Air, Ipad air2, IPad Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac 21”, Mac mini, Apple Watch 1, Apple TV gen 3 x2, AirPort Extreme (current), AirPort Extreme (previous version), airport express, time capsule (original). Apple Music (family), 200gb iCloud storage, iTunes Match, 100s of paid apps, and 100s of paid iBooks, Oh ya, how about a 2017 Honda Civic hatchback with Apple CarPlay.

  5. I sure hope iPhone sales won’t be hurt as much as they say it will. That figure seems quite a bit high but I’ll just wait for Apple’s quarterly earnings report to know for sure. I suppose even Apple can make a mistake but I can’t complain since I’ve made quite a bit of money from owning Apple over the years. As long as Apple increases my dividends this year, it’s all good. Hopefully, Apple won’t make the same mistakes in the future.

  6. “Analyst: Apple’s ‘batterygate’ solution may mean 16 million fewer iPhones sold this year.” Or Not. When I was with. Xerox we used to call analysts “ANALysts” because a lot of what they said was coming straight out of their Buttocks. Just saying!

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