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Did 11 million iPhone battery replacements in 2018 harm update sales?

Apple replaced a whopping 11 million iPhone batteries while offering them on the cheap throughout 2018, a report has claimed.

Daring Fireball reports that the battery program, which offered a new cell for $29/£29, saw a dramatic uptick in replacements. The report says CEO Tim Cook informed Apple staff of the figures during the recent all-hands meeting earlier this month.

The company usually replaces 1-2 million batteries per year, according to the update from Jon Gruber. That’s up to 10 million more replacements than it provides in a normal 12 month period.

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Late last year, Tim Cook was not fully drawn on whether the replacement program had contributed to sluggish iPhone sales. However, given a thirty quid replacement to revitalise a slowing iPhone was a much more attractive proposition than a £1,000 upgrade, this wouldn’t be a surprise.

“We did not consider what the battery program would do for upgrade rates. Sitting here now, I don’t know how it will impact upgrades,” he said in an interview in December. “We did it because we saw it as the right thing to do for our customers. The effect on upgrades was not in our thought process in deciding what to do.”

Apple offered the replacement program as a result of the CPU throttling controversy that led to accusations it was forcing obsolescence on iPhone users. The company defended slowing down iPhones with ageing batteries in order to guard against unexpected shutdowns.

The company also launched a Battery Health tool in iOS 11.3, which enables users to chance their arm on shutdowns by overriding CPU throttling. The tool also informs iPhone users when their iPhone battery requires a replacement.

As of January 1, the cheap deals on iPhone battery replacements came to an end, but that is unlikely to lead to a dramatic increase in iPhone sales with weak demands reported for the 2018 flagships.

Did you change your battery rather than buy a new iPhone in 2018? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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