Apple has recently announced a battery replacement program that reduces the price of iPhone battery repairs from $79 to $29 following complaints that the company deliberately slows down older devices.
And while at first glance this is a discount that everyone whose iPhone runs on a degraded battery should take advantage of, it’s barely a price cut, according to one battery maker.
A report from South Korean site The Investor and citing an official from a battery manufacturer who wanted to remain anonymous reveals that Apple charges twice as much as Samsung for battery repairs, despite the technology itself and the complexity of the process being nearly the same.
Smaller batteries, higher price
In the local market, replacing the battery of a Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S8 with a new pack costs 35,000 won ($33) and 40,000 won ($37.5), respectively, only slightly more expensive than what Apple charges for the same operation with the huge discount. The same repairs for an LG G6 or Huawei P9 cost between 29,500 and 35,000 won ($27.5 and $33).
“All flagship phones from Samsung, LG and Apple have the most advanced batteries in the market. There is no reason for the price difference,” the battery maker representative was quoted as saying. “Battery replacement for an iPhone may be trickier considering its use of unique parts like black pouch and tape. Still, it is difficult to understand why the cost is so high.”
iPhone batteries have smaller capacity than those used on Samsung’s flagships, and this should reduce the final cost of the repairs. iPhone 7, for instance, which is the newest model covered by the replacement program, features a 1,960 mAh battery unit, while Samsung’s Galaxy S8 comes with a 3,000 mAh battery.
“Apple is saying they are reducing the price for consumers but the price is never a discount considering parts and labor costs,” an official of a smartphone manufacturer, who also wanted to remain anonymous, added.
Apple hasn’t commented on the cost of a battery replacement, and the program is already underway, with customers allowed to request the repairs at the discounted price in any Apple Store.