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Apple’s iPhone battery offer was reportedly way more popular than expected

As many as 11 million iPhone owners made use of Apple’s battery replacement offer during 2018, around 10 times more than the company had expected, a source told prominent Apple podcaster and blogger John Gruber.

Apple cut the cost of its iPhone battery replacement service from $79 to $29 after admitting in late 2017 that it deliberately slowed down some of its phones in order to stabilize performance caused by an aging battery. The offer ran until the end of 2018.

The revelation about the number of battery sales was reportedly made by Apple CEO Tim Cook during an internal meeting on January 3, 2019.

In a rare profit warning issued by Apple on the same day, Cook listed several factors that had hit the company’s revenue, one of which was the cheaper battery as it resulted in many users holding onto their older phones for longer. Why? Because the new battery prevented throttling and improved the operational speed of those older phones, prompting potentially millions of people to refrain from upgrading to one of Apple’s new handsets.

In an article posted online this week, Gruber suggested that the effect of the battery replacement program on the sales of new iPhones “wasn’t apparent until after the iPhone XR and XS models were available. A few million extra iPhone users happy with the performance of their old iPhones with new batteries — who would have otherwise upgraded to a new iPhone this year — put a ding in the bottom line.”

If you failed to take advantage of the cut-price battery offer but want a new one for your iPhone, you’ll now have to pay up to $40 more compared to last year’s rates.

Specifically, a battery replacement for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and iPhone X now costs $69 via Apple. For all other eligible iPhones, which include the iPhone SE, iPhone 6 and later, a battery replacement now costs $49.

To discover if your iPhone could do with a new battery, open the Battery Health tool in your handset’s settings to learn about the current condition of your battery. Digital Trends has a useful battery health guide to help you understand the different messages you might see.

The feature also enables you to turn off Apple’s performance management system, but keep in mind that if you do so, your iPhone may occasionally shut down without warning, depending on the condition of the battery. Apple recommends replacing an iPhone battery once its capacity falls below 80 percent.

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Trevor Mogg
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