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THE INVESTOR
April 25, 2018

Mobile & Internet

iPhone users paying double for batteries?

  • PUBLISHED :January 05, 2018 - 11:29
  • UPDATED :January 05, 2018 - 17:02
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[ET NEWS] Replacement costs for iPhone batteries are more than double those for other brand phones like Samsung, LG and Huawei, according to industry sources on Jan. 5.

Apple last week acknowledged some older iPhones could operate slowly due to a software fix to protect aging batteries. Although the company denied it deliberately slowed down the batteries, it is offering an almost 50 percent discount for battery replacements possibly in an effort to make nice with angry customers.

The usual battery cost for current iPhones like the iPhone SE, 6S and 7 is US$79, but the company has cut that to US$29.

But sources say the reduced price cannot labeled “discounted” considering the battery prices of other premium phones in the market. 


An iPhone battery


For Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S8, the latest models from the world’s largest smartphone maker, the battery replacement costs are 35,000 won (US$33) and 40,000 won, respectively. The costs for cheaper phones like the LG G6 and Huawei P9 range from 29,500 to 35,000 won. The prices all include labor. It takes only 11,000 won for an LG G5 with a detachable battery.

But the battery capacity of iPhones is smaller than others. The iPhone 6S and 7 have 1,715-milliamp-hour and 1,960mAh batteries, respectively, which compare to Samsung S8’s 3,000mAh, LG G6’s 3,300mAh and Huawei P9’s 3,000mAh batteries.

“All flagship phones from Samsung, LG and Apple have the most advanced batteries in the market. There is no reason for the price difference,” an official from a battery maker told ET News on condition of anonymity. “Battery replacement for an iPhone may be trickier considering its use of unique parts like black pouch and tape. Still, it is difficult to understand why the cost is so high.”

In Korea, Apple is cutting the battery replacement cost from 100,000 won to 34,000 won through this year. But sources say Apple is not suffering any loss from the reduced price.

“The 34,000 won is a highly calculated price,” said an executive from a global smartphone maker who also declined to be named. “Apple is saying they are reducing the price for consumers but the price is never a discount considering parts and labor costs.”

The Korean unit declined to comment.

By Choi Jae-pil and Jeong Hyun-jung 
(jpchoi@etnews.com) (iam@etnews.com) (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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