Apple Allegedly Replaced 11 Million Batteries Following CPU Throttling Scandal

AlphaAtlas

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Apple's missed revenue targets have sent investors scrambling for explanations, and a few pointed fingers at Apple's 2017/2018 CPU throttling scandal. Apple started a relatively affordable program to replace batteries in older iPhones for $29, and some analysts thought the program could put a dent in Apple's profits. That claim hinges on just how many batteries Apple replaced, and the Daring Fireball blog claims to have a concrete number. Citing an Apple executive meeting on January 3rd, the report claims that Apple replaced about 11 million iPhone batteries, which is far above previous estimates. Thanks to VentureBeat for spotting the post.

I’m pretty sure Gassee's back-of-the-envelope estimate of the number of batteries replaced was way too low. During Apple's all-hands meeting January 3, Tim Cook said Apple replaced 11 million batteries under the $29 replacement program, and they'd have only anticipated about 1-2 million battery replacements normally. (The fact that Cook held this all-hands meeting was reported by Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, but the contents of the meeting haven't leaked. Well, except for this nugget I’m sharing here.) But Gassee's second point still stands: the battery replacement program ran all year long, so even if it was more popular than Apple originally expected, why wasn't it accounted for in guidance issued on November 1 - 10 months after the program started? My guess: the effect of the battery replacement program on new iPhone sales wasn’t apparent until after the iPhone XR and XS models were available. A few million extra iPhone users happy with the performance of their old iPhones with new batteries - who would have otherwise upgraded to a new iPhone this year - put a ding in the bottom line.
 

DNMock

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You would think that long term this would be beneficial to Apple since dropping $1,000 on a new phone due to a faulty battery is bound to disenfranchise a lot of customers, but since Apple has done such a fantastic job of creating a cult-like following, I guess it may not be the case for them.
 
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i never thought id live to see the day. this really is the beginning of the end for them! i am sad, the alternative is a suite of inferior and unapologetically spyware-infested adzilla garbage phones.
 

darckhart

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IDK about this logic... replacing a battery now represents a lost iphone sale? what is this, the movie industry claiming lost ticket sales? they could have bought a samsung next for all we know! and let's face it, with the XR being the "cheapest" new iphone at $750.... it's the prices of the new iphones stopping folks, not replacing batteries....

And 11 million x $29 still sounds like they made out since it's a lot more than $79 x 2 million....
 
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This is the sort of thought process that assumes all decisions should and MUST be based on the short term desires of the shareholders and not the long term goals of the company and the expectations of the customers where its money comes from.

Companies that make their decisions based entirely on the goals of their shareholders are called "Closed".
 

BloodyIron

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Investors that get upset at Apple for doing the responsible thing are investors that have no fucking clue about what Apple's business actually is.
 

AlphaAtlas

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Investors that get upset at Apple for doing the responsible thing are investors that have no fucking clue about what Apple's business actually is.
Indeed.

I'm still really salty about the Android approach to the whole ordeal. Instead of throttling CPUs like Apple, Android manufacturers just let their devices crash and boot loop, and did a terrible job supporting customers and replacing the borked devices. But they got almost no media backlash for that approach.
 

BSmith

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The brilliance, that is Apple, is lost on investors, financial analysts, and other lower forms of life all running about like ants at the feet of Apple hoping to be acknowledged and not stomped into oblivion with the rest of the unwashed, brainless, derelicts, aka the customers.
 
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Investors that get upset at Apple for doing the responsible thing are investors that have no fucking clue about what Apple's business actually is.
being public really hurts a company unless they are an unstoppable current-year hotness. otherwise management has to run the company on a day to day stock price basis, only thinking one day ahead.
 

nightanole

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IDK about this logic... replacing a battery now represents a lost iphone sale? what is this, the movie industry claiming lost ticket sales? they could have bought a samsung next for all we know! and let's face it, with the XR being the "cheapest" new iphone at $750.... it's the prices of the new iphones stopping folks, not replacing batteries....

And 11 million x $29 still sounds like they made out since it's a lot more than $79 x 2 million....

they thought they would only have to replace 1-2 million phones. It ended up being 11 mill. So that is 9-10 million users to did not upgrade to a new $750 iphone when the old one "wore out". Lets keep going, apple is like 40% profit, so take your cheatp $750 XR, thats what, 3 billion in lost profit?

And odds are its much worse, since the iphone repair shops im sure had no shortage of customers paying $50-60 before the $29 sale. Its not like people had their phones in a sock drawer waiting for a battery deal. On top of that that means there is 11 million more iphones floating around.

On the bright side that means 11 million less android users to worry about.
 

potency

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i never thought id live to see the day. this really is the beginning of the end for them! i am sad, the alternative is a suite of inferior and unapologetically spyware-infested adzilla garbage phones.
I loathe Apple as a company, but their products are more consistently good than any other manufacturer. The majority of android phones are garbage.
 

BloodyIron

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I solve that problem by using a phone that I can replace the battery in myself.

Too many people undervalue this.

Indeed.

I'm still really salty about the Android approach to the whole ordeal. Instead of throttling CPUs like Apple, Android manufacturers just let their devices crash and boot loop, and did a terrible job supporting customers and replacing the borked devices. But they got almost no media backlash for that approach.
 

Rahh

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The brilliance, that WAS Apple, is lost on investors, financial analysts, and other lower forms of life all running about like ants at the feet of Apple hoping to be acknowledged and not stomped into oblivion with the rest of the unwashed, brainless, derelicts, aka the customers.
Fixed that for you... Apple hasn't been brilliant since Jobs died.
 

nutzo

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I solve that problem by using a phone that I can replace the battery in myself.

Too many people undervalue this.
I had that with my Note 4, but there are few newer phones with user replaceable batteries.
I finally gave up when I upgraded to the Note 9.
Much better battery life, so I don't need to charge it as often. Hopefully that also means it will last longer.
 

Kdawg

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these new batteries will die eventually, and they'll be shopping for a new phone soon
 

raz-0

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IDK about this logic... replacing a battery now represents a lost iphone sale? what is this, the movie industry claiming lost ticket sales? they could have bought a samsung next for all we know! and let's face it, with the XR being the "cheapest" new iphone at $750.... it's the prices of the new iphones stopping folks, not replacing batteries....

And 11 million x $29 still sounds like they made out since it's a lot more than $79 x 2 million....
Yes, a replaced battery in some instances will represent a lost sale of something new. While the price of the XS and XS plus probably are putting some people off. $750 for an XR isn't that much of a change in the price people were paying for prior devices. Even if it jut prevented an iphone 8 or iphone 7 sale, it's still money left on the table during this fiscal year.

All that aside, Apple needs to find something other than just mining the long tail of smartphones for more gold.
 

steakman1971

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I replaced batteries in 3 iPhones this past year. I was only charged for 2 of the 3. The Apple guy put down that my iPhone 7 battery was not acting properly and was still under warranty (which surprised me - the phone was 2 years old).
I will say that I would not have purchased 3 iPhones this year. In fact, we had no plan to buy any new iPhones. I just thought it made sense to spend $29 and get another few years out of a device.
 

cyclone3d

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Guess I should have gotten my 6s battery replaced.... It did the whole throttle thing a few days ago.

The battery health as reported by the phone is at 86%.... Throttling at 86% battery health.. that just seems like really bad design to me. I would think that it shouldn't throttle till it gets down to around 70% or less.

Anyway, going to upgrade once the new phones come out next month. Probably going to go for a Note 9 since I am guessing that they will be very heavily discounted.
 

Shoganai

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Guess I should have gotten my 6s battery replaced.... It did the whole throttle thing a few days ago.

The battery health as reported by the phone is at 86%.... Throttling at 86% battery health.. that just seems like really bad design to me. I would think that it shouldn't throttle till it gets down to around 70% or less.

Anyway, going to upgrade once the new phones come out next month. Probably going to go for a Note 9 since I am guessing that they will be very heavily discounted.
You can disable the throttling if you are on iOS 12.
 

mope54

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Yeah, but then it shits the bed.

My wife didn't replace her SE even though I reminded her a dozen times. She called in a few days after the first and the rep told her she had a lot of requests for extensions but couldn't do it. I thought about arguing for a good-will exemption, but given that I'd just fallen in the pool and ruined my years old 6s+ and then Apple replaced that straight across the counter under good-will, I figured we were already ahead. That and the ifixit battery is about $10 bucks so it turns out she wouldn't have even saved any money.

All that aside, what's with the bellyaching over an iPhone MSRP? Who buys phones, or any electronic device, at MSRP? The only people who even know what their phone's price tag is are the bring your own device crowd...who already know how to price shop, which is why they are BYOD! Is all this bellyaching on account of the day 1 purchasers (whom this board regularly mocks so obviously many users couldn't give a shit less what they do or don't spend on their phones)? Is it on account of aging family members who might wander into an Apple store and point at a full price device and ask to take it home with them right then and there? Aren't they on AT&T plans that build the price of the device right into the service charges? It's so bizarre to me...it's like getting pissed over MSRP of cars as if person car shopping is actually paying MSRP!
 

SmokeRngs

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The problem is that many more people than expected did a battery replacement for a much lower cost than usual. That represents a much larger loss in profit than they were expecting first of all. Secondly, it means that there are millions more phones out there with good batteries which are going to last years longer than expected. Since phone advances are practically nothing anymore that means more people are perfectly satisfied with using their current phone even longer as long as there are no problems.

This all will mean fewer new phone sales and by a much larger margin than they had originally anticipated. New phone sales are not at exponential growth anymore. Giving many millions of devices an extended lease on life will hurt additional new phone sales at a time when growth is already problematic in the first place. If this was 5+ years ago it wouldn't have been an issue. Phone advancements were coming much more rapidly and people were replacing their phones more often even if the old phone was still serviceable. That's simply not happening as much anymore.
 

harvestor

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I had the batterys replaced in my 7 Plus and both of my parents 6S's. All 3 of us are BYOD, apple didnt lose 3 sales to they just postponed them 1 year, the service we received will almost guarantee 3 iphone sales come OCT
 

nightanole

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I had the batterys replaced in my 7 Plus and both of my parents 6S's. All 3 of us are BYOD, apple didnt lose 3 sales to they just postponed them 1 year, the service we received will almost guarantee 3 iphone sales come OCT
But if you sell those 3 phones in oct, that is 3 more people who will not need to buy new phones from apple. On the other hand i wonder how they spin refurbishing trade ins...
 

harvestor

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But if you sell those 3 phones in oct, that is 3 more people who will not need to buy new phones from apple. On the other hand i wonder how they spin refurbishing trade ins...
Around here it most likely will be someone replacing a broken phone, the used market here sucks
 

Shadowed

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I had a friend who wanted a used iphone so he got a 6s. It came with a pretty crap battery and his phone kept shutting down under heavy load.

He took it to an Apple authorized 3rd party store (no Apple Store) regarding the shutdown issue and they said it was normal behavior! He did end up replacing the battery to fix the issue elsewhere.


I got my parent's batteries replaced for free which was nice.

I'm definitely avoiding Apple products now, but at the same time, all phones with sealed non removable batteries really make me feel pretty shitty as a consumer.
 

Shadowed

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I solve that problem by using a phone that I can replace the battery in myself.

Too many people undervalue this.
I got a Note 4 with a removable 11,800 mah battery and a 10,000 mah battery. I made sure to get the Exynos version that doesn't have the bootloop issue the Snapdragon one has.

I also refuse to get rid of my Galaxy S5 for the same reason.

My old iPhones need new batteries but my old Samsung phones do not.

We seriously need removable batteries again.
 
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