Apple admits the more people knew about battery replacements, the less people bought new iPhones

Apple admits the more people knew about battery replacements, the less people bought new iPhones
Apple chief executive Tim Cook has just released a letter to investors to inform them about slower iPhone sales and to revise the guidance for the company's traditionally strong Holiday quarter.

And it's a significant drop in sales to the tune of up to $9 billion in missed revenue that Apple blames mostly on slower sales in China, but one other detail the company mentioned was particularly striking.

While explaining all the different reasons for the revised forecast, Tim Cook writes the following:


Let's take a closer look at what Apple is saying here because this is important. Tim Cook is actively blaming slower iPhone sales on customers' raised awareness about the fact that a simple (and cheap) battery replacement could fix a slowing older iPhone. Let us remind you that cheaper battery replacements (down to $30 from an original price of $80) were a program that Apple ran throughout most of 2018 and ended with end of the year as a part of an apology to customers for its lack of transparency about the throttling of iPhones that it implemented in iOS 10.2.1.

This latest explanation by Tim Cook basically tells investors that users who realized they can replace the battery on their older iPhone and maintain a good performance on their phone that would otherwise be artificially throttled simply chose to continue using that phone. Which raises all sorts of questions including the big one: so, Tim... was the way that Apple handled battery aging before the whole throttling scandal actually a tactic of planned obsolescence? Is it that people switched less to newer iPhones because of the simple realization about the connection between battery health and performance? And are you saying Apple made a mistake by telling customers about battery replacements? That would be an extremely embarrassing admission and it is certainly one way to look at that.

So... what is it exactly that you are blaming in this letter?

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22 Comments

1. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

My old iphones always goes to my nieces.

9. TheOracle1

Posts: 2074; Member since: May 04, 2015

And dump the problem on them? What's interesting about this whole announcement is that Cook didn't, wouldn't or couldn't mention the major reason of price. It was glaring. People replaced their batteries because there was nothing fundamentally wrong with their phones and they realized they didn't have to pay the ridiculous prices for a new one. In summary, the shady strategy backfired.

10. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1239; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Well yeah, at this point it certainly does sound a lot like planned obsolescence. It sounds like Apple was very much aware that for years a simple battery replacement could fix the decreasing performance due to less capable batteries. They kept it quiet until someone found the code in the update that restricts performance on devices with deteriorated batteries. Tim Cook may have shot himself in the foot on this one, as that suggestion leaves Apple wide open for class action lawsuits, not to mention governmental inquiry into their actions. It's incredibly shady behavior.

15. dimas

Posts: 3296; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

That somebody who found the throttling shenanigan made apple lose lots of money from potential sales, got apple in different lawsuits and gave them major branding and credibility headache. I'm sure tim cook is grinning his teeth for the extra million bonus he lost. I think we can all agree that planned obsolescence is NOT a conspiracy and is happening in every major products we use.

22. lyndon420

Posts: 6518; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Are any smartphone OEM's making phones with removable backs / consumer replaceable batteries?? Pretty sure this is a market wide problem.

2. SIGPRO

Posts: 2810; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Fruit company cheated and got caught, don't cry afterwards!

8. worldpeace

Posts: 3099; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

It's not about "Battery replacement". They got caught throttling older device then blame the aging battery for that. Now they don't have any other reason to throttle older device, and people will stick with their older iPhone, since "it just work". They could brick it, make app crash, add battery drain on each update, but their users starting to get vocal that their iPhone isn't bug free, and Apple will keep fixing it on next update (while adding more bug, hoping that small but regular annoyance is enough to make them upgrade their phone)

3. Venom

Posts: 3143; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

That would be some extremely shady s*** if that's true. While I understand that batteries can eventually go out, but that doesn't give them the excuse to artificially throttle iPhones and not inform users of the battery replacement program. The iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus are still fairly capable. That's why many people are still holding on to their iPhones.

5. iCloud

Posts: 123; Member since: May 15, 2014

They have to find ways for consumers to be forced to upgrade. It is s**tty what they are doing but thank god for the internet and spreading the information out. I am glad they got caught and I am glad people are keeping their older phones. It is a rip off to spend almost 1k for a phone each year. I bought my laptop for that amount.

6. notfair

Posts: 698; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

well said, screw them and those f**king greedy investors, we consume too many resources for our consumerism and for what? to make some rich pricks richer?

4. almostdone

Posts: 426; Member since: Sep 25, 2012

Karma

7. surethom

Posts: 1618; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Apple need to buy back more shares while they have so much spare cash, then they are less relient on what the markets say.

11. Iodine

Posts: 1471; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Just yep. It almost seems they do this on purpose to lower share price... But they alteady bought back a few billions before the stock slide.

12. bucknassty

Posts: 1311; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

maybe if you had more significant change in your phones people wouldn't keep them so long... every year my friends ask 'so whats different'... same ol better camera and faster... yet the only thing they want is a better battery

13. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3092; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Well that's f**ked up. What an embarrassment. They screwed up big time.

14. dimas

Posts: 3296; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Poor Tim, scrambling to maintain his CEO position he will blame everything under the sun for apple's declining sales. The problem with Tim and associates? They don't listen to consumers, they don't adapt to the changes in the tech world while maintaining their luxury, steep prices (which a few dreaming fanbois think doesn't affect the silver fruit brand at all). Next year, we will see if apple is the next nokia.

18. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1306; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Doubtful. Apple will be around for at least another 10-20 years.

19. TheOracle1

Posts: 2074; Member since: May 04, 2015

Apple isn't going anywhere. They'll be around longer than us.

16. cncrim

Posts: 1573; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Well that basically said Apple is aware and practice shady business to make customers upgrade faster. Now they getting caught, now surprise Iphone sale slow down.

17. nodes

Posts: 1152; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Their software support is so good it backfires at them.

20. Leo_MC

Posts: 6710; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

EC (FCC in the USA and other agencies) should investigate if this is an illegal practice and, if they find it is, they should fine the heck out of Apple. We cannot tolerate any behavior that affects the customer!!!

21. steve90

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 03, 2019

fake news.

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