The number of iPhone batteries Apple replaced in 2018 was over 5 times higher than expected

The number of iPhone batteries Apple replaced in 2018 was over 5 times higher than expected
Apple is not exactly at the top of its game right now with sales of its latest iPhones not hitting the targets set by the company. As we heard from Apple CEO Tim Cook himself, one of the reasons for those unexpected results is the battery replacement program that the company started early 2018.

Apple was pressured to begin the program after it was discovered it throttled older iPhones once their batteries degraded to a certain level. During the promotion period that ended December 31, 2018, customers could get a battery change for their iPhone 6 or later models for a heavily reduced price.

If you, like us, were wondering how many batteries must have been changed to affect the revenue stream of a company as big as Apple, then you’d be happy to hear that we now have an answer. Coming from the DaringFireball blog via AppleInsider is the information that around 11 million users opted for a cheap battery replacement during 2018.

According to the source, Apple’s estimate for that number was in the ballpark of 1-2 million, which is obviously a huge difference between expectations and reality. Of course, we can’t assume that all those extra 9 million people would have gotten new iPhones if it wasn’t for the program. But we can allow ourselves some quick speculation. If even just a third of them had bought a new iPhone instead, with an average price of around $800, that’s a hefty $2.4 billion that Apple lost in revenue.

Since Apple releases its phones towards the end of the year, it wasn’t clear how much the replacement program will affect sales of the new models until the numbers started coming in. And when they did, the surprise wasn’t pleasant. 

Now, after this revenue sink has been closed, Apple might see a slight uptick in sales in the upcoming months, which we're sure the executives at Cupertino will be happy to see.

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20 Comments

1. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

If Apple hadn't used cheap low quality batteries in the first place then they would not need to throttle customers phones and the battery replacement program would never have happened. This problem is all of Apples own making and they have to live with the consequences.

3. Peaceboy

Posts: 640; Member since: Oct 11, 2018

I guess it would be more trouble if apple just let their phones randomly shutting down due to old batteries.

7. Marcwand3l

Posts: 464; Member since: May 08, 2017

They are shutting down due to bad design. And the iphone 7 started to exhibit the battery issuer less than a year since it's launch. That can hardly be considered old.

24. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1605; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

It's not old batteries, its low quality batteries.

28. Knownhost

Posts: 116; Member since: Nov 13, 2017

The phones belong to the consumers who paid for them. Apple intentionally degraded the performance of these purchased phones, without notice. I have never seen any reports about older iPhones shutting down due to battery wear. Not. Once. This shutdown claim is an excuse, not a reason. Had they not been caught red-handed, 11 million people would have had devices that had been intentionally sabotaged. Who knows how many people still walk around with these sabotaged phones? Few people read sites such as this and have no clue.

10. midan

Posts: 3239; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

I'm pretty sure they use exact same batteries than everyone else. If they use different batteries we would know it and it would be all over the news.

2. SIGPRO

Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

Fruit company used crappy batteries and got caught cheating because of throttling! The battery replacement should have been free of charge because they screwed the customers. But iFans are dumb, fruit company offered battery replacement for €29 instead if €89, they said what a deal they care about us.........

5. dimas

Posts: 3448; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Apple, apple, apple. You thought using substandard batteries will give you more money but now, it's backfiring to you in different ways. I don't mind you charging high price but make sure that every component you use is worth that price tag you ask us.

11. slim3bdo

Posts: 186; Member since: Jun 05, 2017

Its pointless to argue with a apple stoned clown . 1- apple uses crappy bettery thats why since iphone 4 , the battery is good for a year , less than that if you are heavy user . 2- apple used crappy bettery by design so it encourge coustmers to upgrade since thier phones need to be charged 2 or 3 times a day after one year . 3 - the prblem exposed when crappy iphones started to shut down with 40+ % of baatery , thats when the update rolled out to fix the problem by throttling the cpu ( imagine to buy an iphone with the selling point is a super cpu which you wont be able to utilize its power after one year , not only that the phone becomes crippled and slow like hell . Its not the 1st bad design by apple , just check the mac line , to see stupid engineering mistakes that were never fixed , up to 3 mac generations . And it was intended by apple to keep this design flaws so it can charge customers for insane repairs , or push them to upgrade Bottom line apple sucks every penny from its loyal stupid costmers , and yes apple customers are stupid , no sane person will keep buying overpriced incapable badly designed products , with over the roof repair costs . To know all that and to know that fruit company try by iliagle ways to stop 3rd party repair shops ( which actually repair your product , not like the stupid repair centers that only know one thing which is replace , replace and replace to know all that and keep buying from this company you are a stupid person imo .

12. midan

Posts: 3239; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

"and yes apple customers are stupid , no sane person will keep buying overpriced incapable badly designed products" and yet Apple have most satisfied customers with their every products, but hey of course you know more about product which you don't use ;) boys like you are so funny, are you 14? i really hope you are not older, then i could understand.

14. Vancetastic

Posts: 1907; Member since: May 17, 2017

I’ll just point out that if we use you as an example, “satisfied” very obviously doesn’t equal “smart”.

26. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1605; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Not to mention Samsung passed them in customer satisfaction several times, and customer satisfaction of the iPhone X was below the iPhone 7 and 8.

37. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1486; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Actually several customer research studies have shown Samsung users to top Apple users in satisfaction.

19. KingSam

Posts: 1529; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

The process in Jamaica sucks. No official Apple store only authorized dealer and they wanted me to pay $30 plus import and them service charges. I bought one for $11 and diy. Breathed life into my 6s before I sold it.

22. cncrim

Posts: 1590; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Planned Obsolescence discovered, that is big big factor in why people hold on their phone longer. We had been suspected this for very longest time....... so what next? I have a feeling Apple will go Android round stop support after 3 years and stop support purchased apps install 4 years old. I DONT GIVE HER IDEAD but she is all ready thinking about....... hey Apple if you read this dont pull that off your brand will tardness. On other hand, i got to give credit to Apple make a quite good quality phone.

23. TechNeck

Posts: 657; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

Shouldn't it be 10 times not 5?

27. raky_b

Posts: 445; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Now, one can also speculate that if so many people would rarher hold on with old device with new battery, then buy one of the new devices....something must be wrong in that new devices. Design, size or price??? Well...

49. Wazupmrg

Posts: 214; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

"It just works"...... Lol

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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