Apple Replaced 11 Million iPhone Batteries in 2018, Up From 1 to 2 Million

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple replaced a total of 11 million iPhone batteries under the $29 battery replacement program that was introduced at the end of 2017 and ran through 2018 before ending on December 31, 2018.

    The tidbit was shared by Tim Cook at a recent all-hands meeting with Apple employees and relayed by Daring Fireball's John Gruber, who heard the information from an unnamed source.


    Apple replaced approximately 9 to 10 million more batteries than it would have during a normal year, said Cook. Apple normally replaces 1 to 2 million batteries each year.

    Cook cited the battery replacement program as one of the reasons why Apple's Q1 2019 guidance was cut earlier this month after poorer than expected iPhone sales. Apple now expects revenue of $84 billion, down from a November estimate of $89 to $93 billion.

    It's not entirely clear why Apple didn't know how the battery replacement program would impact sales earlier in the year given that it ran throughout 2018, but Gruber speculates that while Apple knew battery replacements were higher than normal, the true effect of the replacement program did not become known until the new iPhone XS and XR models were released and fewer people upgraded.

    Apple initiated the $29 battery replacement program after outcry over an iOS 10 update introduced a power management feature that slowed the performance of some older iPhones with degrading batteries. The power management features were designed to prevent unexpected shutdowns and prolong the iPhone's life, but some customers saw it as proof of planned obsolescence.

    Apple apologized for the misinformation and introduced the discounted battery replacement program to appease customers. In a device with a degraded battery that is experiencing slowdown issues because of performance management software, replacing the battery restores full functionality, which undoubtedly led some customers to stick with an older iPhone rather than upgrade.

    In February 2018, Cook said that Apple had not considered how the battery replacement program would impact iPhone upgrade rates, but it's clear it ultimately had an impact on Apple's bottom line.

    "We did it because we thought it was the right thing to do for our customers," said Cook at the time. "I don't know what effect it will have for our investors. It was not in our thought process of deciding to do what we've done."

    Article Link: Apple Replaced 11 Million iPhone Batteries in 2018, Up From 1 to 2 Million
  2. martyjmclean, Jan 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019

    martyjmclean macrumors 6502


    Jan 24, 2018
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    "We did it because we were caught slowing down phones without telling users, and had our arses sued to hell and back". Fixed that for you Timmy.
  3. 1rottenapple macrumors 68020

    Apr 21, 2004
    Word wish they would have just admitted this in the beginning.
  4. niji, Jan 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019

    niji Contributor


    Feb 9, 2003
    Cook cited the battery replacement program as one of the reasons why Apple's Q1 2019 guidance was cut earlier this month after poorer than expected iPhone sales. Apple now expects revenue of $84 million, down from a November estimate of $89 to $93 million.

    billions not millions, pls correct it.
  5. PieTunes macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2016
    San Diego, CA
    I do believe that's supposed to be billion, with a B, or else they're *really really* off the mark!
  6. interessiert, Jan 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019

    interessiert macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2012
    We all can understand, why Apple started this battery replacement program:
    1. Apple faced to change iOS software for iPhone7, 7+, 8, 8+ and X to escape the QUALCOMM court case to a heavy shorter battery time
    2. Same reason for the price cut of the charged replacement

    Surely not gift or mercy or heart to customer's wallet ;)

    ...And not this fake explanation of an excuse for low battery shut off in iOS
    (Cook, what a silly game!)

    Last but not least: Maybe there are other secrets hidden in battery technique – remember it was started not long after the battery explosions in Samsung note 7.

    3. This fake explanation helps him/Apple to cover the real reason of selling decline why customers hesitate to buy and change to a new: Too hight price levels reached to realize these expensive iPhones XS, XS max and XR filled with Face ID and OLED...
  7. NinjaHERO macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2008
    U S of A
    Or maybe the battery replacement helped keep IPhone users from jumping ship to cheaper non Apple devices. I know they want to point the finger at this being bad for future IPhone sales, but perhaps it kept some people in the Apple family who otherwise couldn’t afford to upgrade. Just a thought. I have no facts.
  8. Tork macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2006
    I’m surprised the iPhone X battery was included in the $29 offer. I took advantage and replaced the battery in my day 1 X on 12/31. Was at 88% health, now obviously like new again, and I might just keep it another year because of it. Wouldn’t have done it at the old $80 price. Odd decision.
  9. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    It's corrected.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 14, 2019 ---
    Yes, I've fixed it. Thanks. Sorry for the error, it's late here!
  10. NetMage macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2007
    Better to spend $1,000 on a new phone then $79 on a new battery? Odd decision.
  11. sinsin07 macrumors 68040

    Mar 28, 2009
    Tim: “Hey we’re gonna take a hit on this iPhone battery replacement program so let’s be magical and raise the price of iPhones to new heights to compensate.”

  12. ibphd macrumors newbie


    Apr 10, 2004
    Albuquerque, but I wouldn't call it living
    Well, one good thing from Apple’s battery woes: the battery health indicator. My battery health indicator is showing that the Audible app is, in the background, using 26% of my new batteries power. The Audible app must be listening to the audio books in the background because i damn sure don’t use it that much. Time to drop Jeff Bezos a note.
  13. Delgibbons macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2016
    --- Post Merged, Jan 14, 2019 ---
    Ha! That really would be a bit of a problem otherwise :p
  14. allenvanhellen macrumors regular

    Dec 8, 2015
    My iPhone 6S Plus was shutting down and rebooting when the battery was low and the ambient temperature was very hot or very cold, until the update that "slowed down phones". Once I had installed that update, those issues stopped, but the phone ran slower. That's nothing to sue over.
  15. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I had the battery replaced in my wife’s SE at the end of 2018. It will now last her a couple more years. I thought Apple came to their senses when they released the SE, but apparently they haven’t. So for now she is holding out hope that they will make a normal sized iPhone again in the next couple years—even if it’s full screen and costs a lot more—like an iPhone XE that starts at $699. That would be great for her! I’m hoping they will bring it back once they shrink the notch in the next year or two. I think the notch was just too wide for an SE sized device. Maybe in Spring 2021 we will get an iPhone XE.
  16. ksec macrumors 6502a

    Dec 23, 2015
    Sigh, this pieces of news get spread and judging understanding and reading comprehension from the previous Qualcomm post a lot of people will think " OH NO, it was battery replacement that causes Apple's revenue drop."

    Out of a 200M+ of iPhone 6 / 6s, only 5% of them had a battery replacement. That leaves 95% of possible user upgrade. Revenue misses has absolutely NOTHING to do with battery replacement programme.

    And given the amount of waiting time for replacement in Apple Store, I am surprise they only managed 11M.
  17. johnnnw macrumors 65816


    Feb 7, 2013
    I forgot until Dec 20th and the Genius Bar appointments were booked solid until after the new year. Sucks.
  18. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Remember the good old days, before Apple started the trend of gluing things shut, when you could simply pop the back off a phone and replace the battery in seconds without any tools or worrying about breaking things.
    Happy days.
    I was more than Happy companies like Samsung kept their plastic backs so you could so easily do this, but again and again they were criticized for having a plastic back so they followed Apple's terrible route.

    In reality so many people put their phone in a case anyway, and a easy to replace back gives you the option to change colors and replace a scratched back with a new one.

    I'd happily go back to those days for the sake of perhaps 1mm
  19. tennisproha macrumors 65816

    Jun 24, 2011
    It’s almost unfathomable that Apple brings in that much revenue in a quarter. Billions is a **** ton on monies
  20. Mars56 Suspended

    Apr 26, 2018
  21. Ruthless7 macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2019
  22. Salvor Hardin macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    If this affected upgrade rates then I won’t be surprised if iOS 13 has “mysterious” severe performance problems on everything that came before the X series.
  23. TonyC28 macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2009
    Isn’t it logical to also mention the higher cost of new iPhones with this bit of news? The higher price tag for an upgrade/replacement has to be part of this equation.
  24. Superhai macrumors 6502


    Apr 21, 2010
    Why this hyperbole? "absolutely NOTHING"? No one claimed that the revenue miss was directly connected to the replacement program, Tim Cook wrote that it was a contributor out of quite many others and surely several of those who replaced the battery chose not to upgrade their phone.
  25. yansun macrumors regular

    Mar 26, 2010
    It's not about plastic back or not. Even with a glass back the iPhone 4 battery e.g. was "pretty easy" replaceable. All you had to do was to remove two screws, push the back towards the edge of the phone to lift it away, remove one additional screw and pull up the plastic tab to remove the battery.

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