Tim Cook partially blamed lower than expected revenue projections on a number of factors including challenges entering the Chinese market (no doubt exacerbated by the escalating trade war between the USA and China), rising device prices, and an unexpected uptick in iPhone battery replacements made attractive by a special $29 promotional price all previous year after the company was caught slowing down performance for older devices.
If accurate, the program likely had a significant impact on Apple's revenue. It has since instructed employees to perform replacements regardless of battery test results. That's 11 million people who could have bought a new iPhone, but chose not to.
Nonetheless, according to Barclays, the Cupertino-based company would implement a new antenna technology in its future iPhone 11 models.
The whole cut-price battery replacement scheme came about after it was discovered that Apple deliberately throttles its iPhone processor performance in handsets with ageing batteries. Maybe, but it's nothing to be alarmed about. And while the theme of promoting iPhone XR for hundreds-of-dollars off with qualifying trade-in appears consistent across the board, each message also appears tailored specifically to highlight how much better the XR is, in relation to the recipient's current iPhone. In a normal year, Apple would have expected about 1 to 2 million battery replacements. In contrast, the original Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 6 had a 1,877 mAh battery. Gruber has a guess, though.
Cook called out the iPhone battery replacement program in the same letter, when he said that "some customers [were] taking advantage of significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements". The battery cases are shipping now, priced at $129, and Apple also has a version designed for the iPhone XR which extends that smartphone's runtimes even more impressively than the numbers it gets out of the box.
Late a year ago, in a bid to muster-up interest in its latest flagships amid reports of slumping sales, Apple sent out promotional e-mails to current iPhone owners, informing them of the iPhone XR's arrival and further sweetening the pot with their big trade-in offers, which are clearly meant to jump-start sales.
Apple Music still has a lot of room for growth.