Apple's battery replacement programme that helped a large number of iPhone users to continue using their old hardware has put a lot of burden on the company. Precisely, the Cupertino giant replaced as many 11 million under the replacement programme that charged users as low as $29 in the US (Rs. 1,995 in India) for getting their out-of-warranty iPhone battery replaced officially. CEO Tim Cook reportedly highlighted the number of batteries replaced under the replacement programme during a recent all-hands meeting with Apple employees. The 58-year-old executive earlier this month notified investors about the role of battery replacements in reducing iPhone upgrades in the latest quarter.
Renowned Apple blogger John Gruber in a post on Daring Fireball reported that during the all-hands meeting on January 3, CEO Cook revealed that Apple replaced as many as 11 million batteries under the replacement programme that was concluded on December 31, 2018. Gruber pointed out that the reported figure was significantly higher than the one to two million battery replacements take place generally.
Apple kicked off the battery replacement programme back in December 2017 to compensate the slowing down of old iPhone models. While the company was originally charging around Rs. 6,500 for customers replacing the battery of an iPhone that isn't in warranty, it brought the cost down to Rs. 1,995 for all out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements, irrespective of iPhone models. This was the sole reason for attracting a large number of iPhone users and ultimately getting the whopping figure of 11 million battery replacements.
Cook in a letter to Apple's investors earlier this month mentioned the battery replacement programme as one of the key reasons for resisting users from iPhone upgrades. "While macroeconomic challenges in some markets were a key contributor to this trend, we believe there are other factors broadly impacting our iPhone performance, including consumers adapting to a world with fewer carrier subsidies, US dollar strength-related price increases and some customers taking advantage of significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements," the executive had said.
However, it is worth pointing out that Apple hasn't yet officially revealed the number of batteries it replaced under the programme that was active for over a year - between December 2017 and December 2018.
Due to fall in iPhone upgrades and weaker-than-anticipated iPhone sales, Apple reduced its revenue outlook. The company's revenue forecast for the first fiscal quarter of 2019 reduced to $84 billion (roughly Rs. 5,97,000 crores) from the averaging $91 billion (roughly Rs. 6,40,000 crores) predicted by market analysts.