Back in 2017, Apple launched an iPhone battery replacement program where for a heavily discounted price of $29, iPhone users could replace batteries in their old iPhones for new ones. This was Apple’s way of apologizing for throttling iPhones with weakened batteries without informing customers beforehand.

While it was a good PR move on Apple’s part, it seems that it might have actually affected iPhone sales negatively. This is according to a recent interview Apple’s CEO Tim Cook did with CNBC (via 9to5Mac) where he suggested that the battery replacement program might have played a role in weak iPhone sales.

Cook had recently acknowledged that the demand for the iPhone was weaker than expected. He had attributed this to a variety of reasons, such as foreign exchange rates, lack of carrier subsidies, and now it seems like maybe the battery program could have played a role as well. Given that $29 will sort of make your old iPhone feel new-ish, it makes sense that customers would much rather pay that and keep their phones for an extra year or two, versus paying $1,000 for a new iPhone, which unfortunately won’t be exempt to throttling either.

Cook had previously commented early 2018 that he did not consider whether or not the battery replacement program would affect upgrades, instead saying that the company introduced it simply because it was the “right thing to do for our customers”.

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