AAPL: Apple’s Battery Controversy Response Is Brilliant

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Summary

Apple has responded to the CPU throttling controversy by offering consumers a $29 battery replacement offer.

Next iOS will include a lot more information about the health of the battery in the settings menu.

This will limit AAPL’s liability and drive traffic to its retail locations.

Rather than a headwind, this controversy may end up actually driving more sales.

Last week a controversy about Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) throttling CPU performance on some iPhone models came out. I wrote a detailed article about this issue here: Apple’s Liability For The Recent Battery Scandal. Today Apple responded to this controversy, and I wanted to do a very quick follow-up to explain what happened, and how this is actually a brilliant move on Apple’s part. I also wanted to clear up some misunderstandings that came up in the comments to my previous article.

Summary of the Controversy

It has came out last week that starting with iOS 10.2.1 Apple added a CPU throttling feature to the firmware that reduces the current draw of the CPU during peak demands on phones with older batteries that cannot sustain such current loads. I explained the practical reasons for this and how it relates to a phenomenon called voltage drop in my previous article. Another great article on the subject was published by Robert Kientz on Seeking Alpha as well. You can read it here: Apple Is Being Slandered For What Chemistry Cannot Fix.

Misconceptions FAQ

Q: Does the throttling happen to ALL iPhone 6, 6S, and 7 Models?

NO. It ONLY affects phones with older batteries with higher cycle counts. If you just purchased a new iPhone 7 or 6S, it is running at its peak and is NOT being throttled. Apple has stated so in its response and it was reported as well by several users on Reddit. Here is a message from “pamplemouse” from the PSA: iPhone slow? Try replacing your battery! thread, for instance:

[I]t works!!! I just now replaced my battery ($50). The benchmarks report the expected numbers (1465 single, 2638 multi core) and the CPU frequency is now 1400MHz. When they took out the battery, half of it was soft! The tech said my battery was really used up.

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