Apple reportedly replaced a total of 11 million iPhone batteries during the time period covered by their $29 iPhone battery replacement program. The program ran from late 2017 through the end of December 2018.
The total of 11 million is approximately 9 to 10 million more batteries replaced than Apple normally replaces in a year’s time. The tally usually amounts to 1 to 2 million batteries per year.
Apple CEO Tim Cook cited iPhone users’ taking advantage of the iPhone battery replacement program as one of the reasons Apple’s fiscal Q1 2019 guidance was cut by billions of dollars, following a quarter of lowered iPhone sales. Apple says it now expects to report revenue of $84 billion, down from the original estimates of $89 to $93 billion.
While it seems odd that Apple wouldn’t have earlier realized the affects of the battery replacement program on iPhone sales, Gruber speculates the effects of the program may not have become apparent until the release of the iPhone XS and iPhone XR models were released and fewer iPhone owners upgraded to the new models.
Apple debuted the $29 iPhone battery replacement program following customers complaints about an iOS 10 update that included a power management feature that slowed older iPhones’ performance on models with degraded batteries. Although the new feature was intended to prevent the devices from unexpectedly shutting down and to prolong the devices’ battery life, many customers accused the company of planned obsolescence.