When Apple promised to replace old iPhone batteries for $29 after its slowdown debacle, there was always going to be a queue for new parts. Well, for owners of the iPhone 6 Plus, the queue will likely be a bit longer than expected. According to internal documents seen by MacRumors, Apple won’t have batteries in stock for the 2014 device until late March to early April.
Wait times for replacement batteries have understandably fluctuated as Apple adapts to this unexpected increase in demand. When the $29 replacement offer was first made in December, the company said the batteries would be available in late January, before updating that timeframe later in the month to available “right away.”
Now, in an internal document distributed to Apple stores and authorized service providers, we have the latest estimates for wait times. As per MacRumors’ write-up, that means “approximately two weeks” for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus; a late March to early April date for the iPhone 6 Plus; and batteries for the iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone SE will be, in Apple’s own words, “available without extended delays.” Whatever that means.
These estimates are for the US, and there are likely to be regional variations across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. We’ve contacted Apple to try to confirm times.
Apple first made the offer for $29 battery replacements last December, after benchmark tests showed significant slowdowns in old devices after they received the latest software updates. Although this finding seemed to confirm the “Apple slows old iPhones” meme, the company said this throttling was needed to compensate for the (unavoidable) degraded performance of old batteries.
In other words, Apple decided on behalf of its customers that they’d prefer an iPhone that performed worse for the same amount of time, than an iPhone that performed just as well for a shorter amount of time. It’s a decision that does nothing to dispel the characterization of Apple as a company that does what it can to push customers into buying new phones.
But at least now you can get a $29 mea culpa from Apple — even if you have to wait for it.