Apple Did Not Consider How Battery Replacement Program Would Impact iPhone Upgrade Rates

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    During today's earnings call covering the first quarter of 2018, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked whether investors should be concerned about slowing upgrade rates due to Apple's battery replacement program and the fact that consumers may opt to replace their batteries instead of purchasing a new iPhone.


    In response, Cook said that he couldn't answer because it wasn't something that Apple took into account. Apple "did not consider, in any way, shape, or form, what it would do to upgrade rates," said Cook.
    In the same answer, Cook said the iPhone has fantastic reliability, and that the previously-owned market is continually expanding, with customers handing down older iPhones and using trade-ins to get new devices. Cook said he believes customers handing their devices down is a positive, because "the more people on iPhone, the better."

    Following the revelation that Apple introduced power management features that slow older iPhones in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns in devices with degraded batteries, Apple was accused of planned obsolescence and deliberately slowing devices to prompt customers to upgrade.

    Apple has vehemently denied that the power management features were implemented to spur customers to upgrade, and the company has said that instead, the features were meant to expand the life of an iPhone for as long as possible.

    Apple has apologized for the misinformation that has circulated about the power management features, and it has also introduced a program allowing customers to get $29 battery replacements for the iPhone 6 and newer. In iOS 11.3, Apple will provide more information about battery health and give customers the option to toggle off the power management feature all together.

    Article Link: Apple Did Not Consider How Battery Replacement Program Would Impact iPhone Upgrade Rates
  2. SuperMatt macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2002
  3. Act3 macrumors 68000

    Sep 26, 2014
    Count me as just replacing 3 iPhone 6s batteries and not upgrading 3 phones in my house. May even keep these three for 2 more years.
  4. Count Blah, Feb 1, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018

    Count Blah macrumors 68040

    Count Blah

    Jan 6, 2004
    US of A
    Uhhh no, you did it because you got caught, and it was the only way you could quickly think of, to keep the customers and governments off your back. The lawsuits will still come, but this greatly reduced the calls to tar and feather everyone at Apple.
  5. fairuz macrumors 68000


    Aug 27, 2017
    Silicon Valley
    If they didn't do it, I'd be too pissed to buy a new one. My iPhone 6 became useless quickly, and part of the reason the iPhone is normally great is it lasts long (vs buying new Android phones all the time). I'm always the guy to say "just cause there's a new phone doesn't mean your old one is worse," except this time that really wasn't the case.
  6. BootsWalking, Feb 1, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018

    BootsWalking macrumors 6502a

    Feb 1, 2014
    I agree, if you mean the teapot intermittently shuts off whenever the tea bag becomes moderatly used, and its manufacturer fixed the issue by forcing the teapot to make the tea in twice the usual amount of time, while telling owners they did it to extend the life of their teapot rather than because the teapot had a design defect.
  7. lostngone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2003
    HA! Sure they didn't... ;) Just like they didn't think how slowing peoples phones down in the first place would impact upgrade rates.
  8. SteveJUAE macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2015
    Land of Smiles
    And what else would we expect him to say with the pending actions.......

    Fall down and confess :D

    Not going to happen
  9. kasakka macrumors 68020

    Oct 25, 2008
    Apple deserve every setback they get from the battery debacle. At the same time, all smartphone manufacturers are surely having a tough time trying to come up with ways to make people buy new phones. I don't need the latest flagship when my current 2 year old phone runs smoothly and is otherwise good enough too.
  10. Defthand macrumors 6502a

    Sep 1, 2010
    Really? Which Apple is that? The Apple that looks at design challenges and logistics from every angle before moving a chess piece? Or some slow-witted twin in charge of customer relations?
  11. naturalstar macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2012
    Didn’t they learn before when they “did not consider, in any way, shape, or form” what it would do to throttle phones and how that would go over with customers and the public in general?

    May want to reconsider that answer.
  12. JGIGS, Feb 1, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018

    JGIGS macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2008
    Yea I kinda wish I bought a used 6s and just replaced the battery instead of this clumsy and very expensive iPhone X. Unless Apple comes up with a new UI for this model I suggest people stick with older models or Android.
  13. Act3 macrumors 68000

    Sep 26, 2014
    haven't tried a X other than at apple store, but did try a 8 for a bit, decided to keep my 6s that does everything I need it to do and more.
  14. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2014
  15. Hal~9000 macrumors 68000


    Sep 13, 2014

    See kids? this is why Cook makes the big bucks... because he's able to say complete horse**** like the above while somehow keeping a straight face ;)

    Of course they thought about it at one point or another. You're telling me Apple, the richest company in the world, got to that point by being idiots and not even considering how intentionally sabotaging customers older devices via software throttling might spur some new upgrades? Riiiiiight :rolleyes:
  16. xs4all4me macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2018
    Android fanboy here, but in my family, wife, kids, parents, they all use iPhone/iPads, why? I have to admit, it's one of those devices where you just pickup and know how to use, it's that easy. They struggle a little with Android devices, so in my household I have the best of both worlds. My mum who rocks an old Nokia slide phone, had to get her onto iPhone because they shut off the 2G network here, so the old Nokia was useless, I was afraid she would struggle, but she knows the basics.
    But the thing that gets me with every new model comes out, yeah it's faster, better camera, etc.. but you use it all the same. Unless it's a must have device go for it, but if your still rocking an old device which works as it suppose to. No need to upgrade in my opinion.
  17. farewelwilliams macrumors 68000

    Jun 18, 2014
  18. TonyRS macrumors newbie


    Mar 1, 2017
    No, Tim. Every single decision is about maximizing shareholder value. That's your mandate. To claim otherwise is completely disingenuous.
  19. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    If I could easily do replacements once a year I would probably not get any new iPhones for a couple of years.
  20. kazmac macrumors 604


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream
  21. dumastudetto macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2013
    Me neither, because it's the truth.
  22. Marekul macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2018
    And the audacity to sell the throttling as a "power management" feature... this apple has worms.
  23. EdT macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2007
    Omaha, NE
    I’ve said before that I don’t think Apple throttled phones to sell new phones. The only way you can do that is to inhibit system access to RAM or the HARD drive or slow down the CPU. Any form of inhibiting the system will be detectable, so if you slow down older phones while new phones aren’t affected it’s going to be noticed and then measured. You will get caught, too many 3rd party testing sites doing tests over the lifespan of the phone for it not to be noticed.

    Yes they cut CPU clock speed. Intentionally. But since old phones with new batteries DON’T have the same problem that means Apple is counting on the battery being somewhat to mostly worn out for the slow down. That wouldn’t work in many cases. If it’s tied to a phone model replacing the battery won’t fix it. This breaks the attempted fraud into 2 parts: Worn Batteries and solution fraud.

    I don’t think there was solution fraud because the easiest thing for Apple to do about worn batteries was nothing. Just let the phones carry on at full speed until they crash. Putting any code fix in would be (and was) discovered. If the phone was declared dead how many people are going to chase down why? Especially if a new model is out or just around the corner, which, since new phones come out every year is bound to not be far off.

    Battery fraud is more clouded. At least recently, Apple batteries don’t last as long as competitors batteries do. Once again, though, the CPU throttling doesn’t make sense if it’s intentional. The throttling had zero chance of not being discovered. Why put it in if leaving it out clears you legally. The warranty in the US is only one year, most batteries lasted longer than that, although not 2 years. Do nothing and you’re in the clear. Batteries die, phone dead, at least some will buy the new phone and for those that don’t they have no reason to sue. Or at least, not a good expectation of winning.

    So why did they put in software that was bound to be noticed AND could make them liable for phones that they wouldn’t be legally liable for if they don’t change the clock speed and let the phones just stop? I think they really were looking for a way to extend the useful life of the phone, albeit at reduced effectiveness. And had they stated what the problem was, and what they were doing BEFORE they implemented it I think they would also be in the clear. But Apple is a company that likes to keep secrets, and phone life is something that competitors could use against them. So just say you have a fix, don’t say what it is, and bury it in an upgrade.

    I am willing to bet the person who made the initial decision to install software to slow the CPU to extend battery life wasn’t an engineer, and probably didn’t listen when an engineer told him the consequences. You got a fix! Great! Let’s do this!

    But I am also willing to bet the engineers knew that over the years there was an effect on the batteries from the thinner and lighter craze Apple and others went through. Samsung, you remember, also had battery problems just a couple of years ago. I think Apples situation was a different facet of the same problem. With Samsung a significant number burst their case and exploded, with Apple it is mostly batteries dying way earlier than they should have. Different designs, different consequences, although I think some iPhone 6’s also burst their cases. Just not very many.

    That is why I don’t think that the throttling was meant to push people to buy new phones. Doing nothing would allow phones to fail, which the conspiracy says they wanted to happen, but would have left no trace that Apple was legally responsible for failure.
  24. iamaydo macrumors member


    Sep 9, 2017
    You make an excellent point. If Apple was really after planned obselecent, they were better off not throttling the CPU at all, allow phones to shut off during peak load, and frustrated consumers would’ve opted to upgrade instead.

    Another planned obselecent theory, which almost everyone here is convinced of, is to possibly increase the CPU speed, if it wasn’t maxed out already, and allow the battery to degrade even faster.

    No one even knew it was the battery that was causing phones to shut down, and no one was talking about it before someone on Reddit posted about it, and it blew everything wide open.

    Your reasoning definitely flies in the face of every conspiracy theory brought forward in this forum.
  25. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    You reckon people wouldn't be ****** off more by that?

    If would be just like any other phone son the market, so it will not be the "odd one out"

    Apple's battery protection comes first. But they should really start thinking in different ways.

    They already do with allowing TouchID access to non-Apple apps.... It's high time they started this with batteries as well.

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