Though Apple claims that it was only trying to help customers when it throttled CPU performance on older iPhone models, a good number of iPhone owners clearly think otherwise. Hardly a surprise, Apple’s admission that it slowed down iPhones with degraded batteries has led to nearly 60 class-action lawsuits at this point.
In an attempt to get ahead of the problem and assuage iPhone owners who felt taken advantage of, Apple a few weeks ago started a brand new battery replacement program where iPhone owners can swap out their existing battery for a brand new one for just $29.
Since Apple’s battery replacement program went live, iPhone owners have been taking full advantage of the opportunity, with Apple noting in a letter to lawmakers earlier this year that they’ve seen “strong demand” for replacement batteries. In fact, some analysts have opined that the popularity of Apple’s battery replacement program might have a discernible and adverse impact on cumulative iPhone sales. After all, the impetus to upgrade naturally weakens if users can essentially get a phone that’s as good as new for just a few bucks.
Touching on this point, Barclays analyst Mark Moskowitz recently issued an investor note (via Business Insider) claiming that wait times for new iPhone batteries are actually becoming longer. All told, Moskowitz relays that the average waiting period for a new iPhone battery now stands at about 3-4.5 weeks, up from about 2-3 weeks not too long ago. Incidentally, demand for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S Plus batteries is said to be especially strong.
As to how this might impact Apple’s bottom line, Moskowitz a few weeks ago wrote the following:
In our base case scenario, 10% of those 519M users take the $29 offer, and around 30% of them decide not to buy a new iPhone this year. This means around 16M iPhone sales could be at risk, creating ~4% downside to our current revenue estimate for C2018.
While there’s no telling where Moskowitz got the aforementioned 10% figure from, there’s reason to believe that demand for iPhone battery replacements is even stronger than Apple might have initially anticipated.