Apple’s CEO Tim Cook revealed to Apple employees during his all-hands meeting that the company replaced 11 million iPhone batteries in 2018. Usually, Apple replaces around 1-2 million iPhone batteries every year.
The jump in iPhone battery replacement can be attributed to Apple’s discounted battery replacement program which ran for almost the entirety of 2018. As a part of the program, Apple offered existing iPhone owners to get the battery on their device replaced by paying just $29. This helped in restoring the device back to its original performance which coupled with the improved performance by iOS 12 meant that most users preferred to go this route instead of upgrading to a new iPhone.
During Apple’s all-hands meeting January 3, Tim Cook said Apple replaced 11 million batteries under the $29 replacement program, and they’d have only anticipated about 1-2 million battery replacements normally.
Apple started running a discounted $29 battery replacement program from early 2018 due to the backlash that followed after it confirmed it was slowing down older iPhones because of their degraded battery performance.
Given that Apple typically replaces around 1-2 million iPhone batteries every year, the company likely saw a loss of sale of around 7-8 million iPhone units in 2018 due to its battery replacement program. That’s enough to cause a noticeable shortfall in Apple’s revenue estimates, especially for the lucrative holiday season.
Apple is no longer running its discounted battery replacement program but it is no longer charging customers the same rate for battery replacement as it did in 2017. For iPhones older than the iPhone X, Apple is charging $49, up from $29 in 2018, while newer iPhones are charged at $69.[Via Daring Fireball]