Throughout 2018, Apple will be hosting a $29 battery replacement program for iPhones, allowing customers to replace the battery in their device once for the discounted price tag.
That program was the direct result of revelations that Apple slows down older iPhones in an effort to reduce strain on the battery, while trying to optimize overall performance, and stop random shutdowns from occurring. But analysts, while willing to admit that the program is a good PR move for the company in response to the very public backlash, believe it may have a lasting effect for Apple moving forward.
Mark Moskowitz from Barclays has shared a new analyst note (by way of 9to5Mac) today, suggesting that the impact from the battery replacement program may be felt by Apple several months from now (right around the time it announces new devices), and that finding a battery replacement for an older iPhone may get worse from this point on.
First, the battery replacement program’s available stock. According to the analyst note, the wait time to get a replacement iPhone battery have risen to anywhere between three to four and a half weeks — a noticeable uptick from the two to four and a half week wait time that the firm believed was in place just a couple of weeks ago.
The longest wait time? Nine to ten weeks.
According to Barclays, the wait time is being pushed back because of the demand for batteries for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Indeed, it was reported back in January that iPhone 6 Plus batteries may be delayed until late March for some customers, as demand has outstripped availability.
As for what happens later this year, Barclays believes that the battery replacement program, and its waitlist, maybe stop a lot of folks from upgrading their device later this year. However, on the other side of the same coin, the report suggests that Apple’s oft-rumored 6.1-inch iPhone —which is said to be the least-expensive option of the three new iPhones rumored to launch this year— may be enough to sway customers to upgrade anyway.
The effects of the battery replacement program will surely be felt by Apple through 2018, but with rumors pointing to three new iPhones seeing the light of day before the end of the year, it’s probably more likely that Apple will see plenty of sales as they usually do. Especially with the 6.1-inch option. Still, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, has already stated that the future is not something the company considered when it implemented the battery replacement program, so even if it does have a major negative impact, Apple will work with it.[via 9to5Mac]