Apple reckoned in late December that it deliberately slows down older iPhone models with worn-out batteries in an attempt to prevent unexpected shutdowns, and this announcement was received with mixed reactions from customers worldwide.
While a few of them applauded Apple for coming clean on this, many more criticized the company for deliberately making their devices slower, a move that would ultimately push many customers to buying new phones.
Apple eventually launched a battery replacement program for $29, giving iPhone owners the chance to replace aged batteries with new ones at a discounted price and thus restore the full performance of their devices.
Praising iPhone reliability
During the company’s call with analysts following the FY18 Q1 earnings report, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed the impact this battery replacement program could have on iPhone upgrades. Allowing iPhone users to replace their old batteries could reduce the number of upgrades and thus lead to slower iPhone sales, but Tim Cook says they never thought of this when launching the program.
“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. 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,” he said.
Cook went on to praise iPhone reliability, emphasizing that this is why selling older models as pre-owned devices is actually possible.
“The way I look at this, generally what we see with iPhone is that the reliability of iPhone is fantastic. The previously owned market has expanded in units over the years and you see carriers and retailers having very vibrant programs around trading iPhones in because iPhone has the largest residual rate on it,” he said.
Apple has been sued by customers worldwide for deliberately slowing down iPhones, and the company is now under investigation for planned obsolescence in several markets. The US government has also launched a probe to determine if Apple violated any rules with its power management system.