Apple ‘replaced ten times more batteries in 2018 than predicted’, stunting iPhone sales

“Ten times more iPhone owners are thought to have cashed in on Apple’s discounted battery repairs than the company normally expects, hitting sales of its latest models,” Matthew Field reports for The Telegraph. “Apple chief executive Tim Cook was said to have told staff at a meeting earlier this month that customers had claimed 11 million of its cheaper £25 batteries, which the company had offered at a discount after a battery scandal saw its older iPhones slowing down.”

“Mr Cook said Apple normally expects only around 1-2 million battery replacements, with the surge in repairs hitting sales and blamed in part for Apple cutting its earnings forecast, according to Apple blogger John Gruber,” Field reports. “Apple launched its discounted scheme of battery repairs after it was revealed the company was slowing down its older iPhone models to save on battery wear. Apple was forced to apologise for making its batteries “less effective”.”

“The iPhone maker cut the price to £25 after outcry from customers, with a deadline of December 31 for those who wanted to replace their battery at the lower price,” Field reports. ” Older iPhone models now cost £45 to repair, while the current iPhone XS and iPhone XR models cost £65.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It seems likely that Apple neglected to figure in the propensity of many to wait until the last minute. When the flood of last-minute iPhone battery replacements hit Apple late last year, they’d already issued quarterly guidance that likely expected far fewer battery replacements than they actually received. People with new batteries that make their iPhones feel like new again don’t buy new iPhones in huge numbers.


    1. My wife is one of those people, she is waiting for a reason to upgrade. While she was there she replaced the battery on our two older 6s’s as well. That’s $60.00 in Apples favor as we had already upgraded from those and were just letting the grandkids play with them on charging tethers. My daughter and son-in-law did the same thing when they both upgraded to XS Maxes, resulting in another $60.00 for Apple they normally wouldn’t have gotten except for the sale.

  1. This further supports the ideas which have come up here again and again:

    1) Apple’s strategy to artificially throttle performance drove disproportionate sales of new phones that offered only small/incremental improvements for years.

    2) When their scam was exposed, reality was revealed : eliminating bogus performance restrictions resulted in new phones sales declining to the point that it caused the company to miss their financial guidance.

    3) iPhone battery performance is sub-standard.

    1. Batteries die. The average life is 2-3 years. I don’t use non-apple phones, is there a competitor with a better and longer lasting battery? Everyone I know on Android upgrades between 12-18 mos.

      BTW, still have my original iPhone 2 as a music player and alarm clock in the spare bedroom.

    2. I prefer that apple throttle performance to ensure the phone battery does not die out. There is nothing worse for a phone than running out of power. Usually this happens when traveling which is when you really need the device.

  2. After looking at the new phones I decided to get a battery replacement. Why?

    Don’t care for the notch design.
    Prefer a metal or plastic phone to a flimsy glass phone.
    Too high of price. Apple needs to get realistic on their prices.

  3. So rather than taking some self criticism over the extent customers found battery replacements necessary (because of shoddy products), Timmy goes Boo Hoo Hoo over how customers ruined their forecast.

    1. The products are not shoddy, quite the opposite they are fantastic devices. Batteries weaken after years of use, which is normal for any product in the world.
      I agree about the Boo Hoo part…sounds like hes complaining about us “taking advantage” of Apple.

      1. What I mean by shoddy is, there are clearly used under-dimensioned components (such as the battery) sacrificed on the altar of thinness. Some of these phones also lacked structural robustness sacrificed on the same altar, that may have also contributed to reduced lifetime.

  4. 11 millions… This by itself is a serious market that will continue to spend money in the Apple ecosystem. They will upgrade in some time…

    The smartphone peak not only hit Apple…


    He said there were 10x more batteries replaced than would NORMALLY be… not 10x more than predicted. In other words, this is compared to battery replacements NOT being on sale.

    Apple PREDICTED a large number of battery replacements and built that into their predictions (obviously). This is a red herring to misdirect some blame on battery replacements instead of just sluggish sales in China.

    Notice Tim DIDN’T highlight the Q4 vs. Q1,2,3 replacements. What Apple MAY not have known is how many people would choose not to upgrade.

  6. Batteries die, it is not a devious plan by Apple. Apple has had a replacement program for years. At $80 to replace, most people upgraded for news and latest features. The current prices are a bridge too far for many who got their first iPhones for a subsidized $100.00.

    1. Apple could have offered user-replaceable batteries and had a practical monopoly on battery replacement kits. Replacement batteries could be purchased from Apple online and user installed —— easy for everyone. If only Apple thought about the user first.

      Instead Apple got greedy. The user is treated like a bank account to empty. Apple wants to sell devices that appear fashionable and durable but have a designed in life limit to force the user to shell out for a new device. Even for Macs, Apple now tries to push more traffic into its retail stores with these games.

      Sacrificing value and usability on the altar of Ive’s anorexic design is merely one shortcoming infecting Apple today. All of its devices, not just iPhones, are specifically designed so the average user cannot replace battery or hardly any other component even with special tools. This is greedy, it is ecologically wasteful, and it is inconvenient to anyone who doesn’t live near an Apple store. Thank goodness for reputable firms like iFixit and good independent repair shops.

      IMHO Apple is making plenty of $$$ with $29 mea culpa special replacement iPhone batteries. They were/are ripping off customers with their battery replacement sevices at any higher price.

      Apologists, if you know the battery is a component that wears out, how/why would you defend a company that does everything possible to empty your pockets when that predictable battery replacement day comes, and intentionally deceive the user the true battery health???? If carmakers did what Apple does, they would be subject to much worse than a mere class action lawsuit.

      One final thought: attempting to shame former Apple device owners for buying a different brand product will backfire. MDN fanboys, in defending the greed of a gadget maker that sells chinese assembled, Samsung screened phones with qualcomm, intel,and samsung chips inside reeks of religious intolerance. Too bad, high priest Cook ain’t giving wise shoppers as much reason to stay loyal to Apple. Perhaps that’s why Apple doesn’t maintain a healthy user base on any of its product lines. Wise shoppers are willing to look for better solutions elsewhere.

      1. Read this site, many of the “Fanboys” are readily pointing out the last 5 years of shortcomings by Apple, including many with the iPhones. If buying phones built in Asia and with Asian components is religious intolerance, what phone is then religious tolerant. I’d love to see manufacturing come back to the states, with a fair wage for the workers and successful factories humming in every town. A lot has to change with the American and corporate mindset first.

      2. Apple didn’t have to race to China. It chose to in order to exploit lowest possible labor costs and attempt to get their foot in the door to sell to that market. Like every other company, it exposed itself to IP theft and isn’t getting a fraction of the sales it expected to get.

        Interesting article for WTF:

        Sony makes its phones in Japan
        Samsung and LG make their phones in South Korea
        Nokia, HTC, and others build their phones in Taiwan
        Blackberry still exists and provides enterprise level hardware, not consumer junk. It makes perhaps the ultimate secure phone in conjunction with Boeing — and the Black Phone does not use iOS.

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