Customer inspects iPhone 14 Pro Max inside an Apple store in Marunouchi, Tokyo.
Stanislav Kogiku | SOPA Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images
Out-of-warranty iPhone owners will soon have to spend more to replace their batteries at an Apple store, Apple said this week.
Starting on March 1, all older iPhones that came out before 2022 will see their battery replacement fees increase by $20, Apple said on its website. Currently, the owner of an iPhone 13 will pay $69 for a new battery. In March, Apple will charge $89.
Battery price increases will also apply to older iPhones, some iPads, MacBook laptops and in some international markets as well.
Currently, all iPhone 14 models are under warranty, and if something goes wrong Apple will fix the phone for free. But when they start to emerge from warranty on the one-year anniversary of purchase, Apple will charge $99 to replace the batteries in them.
The move shows that Apple is still adjusting prices in response to higher costs for labor and parts. Although inflation has recently slowed in the U.S., Apple said last year that inflation had affected its business, and it raised iPhone prices in several international markets.
The change could also prompt more people to upgrade their phones to a new model instead of replacing the battery. It could also drive users to non-Apple repair stores for lower prices.
Changes in Apple’s battery replacement fee have affected iPhone sales in the past.
In late 2017, users discovered that Apple had added some software code that slowed down iPhones with older batteries that had been mostly used up, to prevent the whole iPhone from unexpectedly shutting down because of the weak battery.
The revelation became a scandal for Apple, forcing the company to respond to Congress and pay international fines. Its solution to customers at the time was to offer battery replacements for $29, versus the older price of $79. The battery replacements were massively popular and lots of iPhone owners opted for the cheap tune-up, straining Apple’s retail stores before the program ended and prices rose again.
In 2019, Apple CEO Tim Cook pointed to the $29 battery replacements as one reason for lower-than-expected iPhone sales at the time in a letter to investors.