The letter cites, specifically, that people are purchasing fewer iPhones because they’re fixing their old ones.
Apple has long fought attempts that could make iPhones simpler to fix: It has lobbied against right to repair efforts in several states, does not sell iPhone replacement parts, sued an independent repair professional in Norway, worked with Amazon for iPhone and MacBook refurbishers kicked off Amazon Marketplace, and has deals with electronic equipment recyclers that need them to shred iPhones and MacBooks.
The Department of Homeland Security has captured iPhone replacement components from prominent right to fix activists in the United States.
At the announcement event for the iPhone XS, Apple explained that maintaining your old iPhone”is your best thing for the entire world,” but the simple fact remains that selling new iPhones is best for Apple’s bottom line.
That’s the reason why lots of people suspected that “Throttle gate,” in which Apple was caught slowing iPhones with old batteries, was a ploy to sell more iPhones though there’s no signs that Apple has a business model predicated on planned obsolescence, the business tried to downplay the reality that it was slowing down people’s old phones without telling them which had the side effect of helping the enterprise to sell more phones.
Apple has never clearly articulated why it does not want people to fix their own own iPhones or to have independent specialists repair them.
It has already said that iPhones are “Too complicated” for consumers to repair them, although replacing a battery is rather easy and can be achieved by average users all the time.
The simple fact that fix hurts Apple’s bottom line came out in Cook’s official communication with shareholders, who he’s legally obligated to inform the truth to.
Here’s what people are saying about iPhone’s slump in sales.
“Simple, the cost of phones is that high that repair makes financial sense. If Apple want to make the goods disposable they need to make them cheaper, if they want to make premium products which cost premium prices, expect people to treat them like premium products.”
“Exactly. I just dropped 1500 on a new computer. Gaming setup. I would NEVER drop 1500 on a phone. That computer will last me 5 years easily and 10 if I do maintenance and keep it updated. That phone at 1100 will last 2 years max and only 1 if I accidentally drop it too many times. It’s not worth it. Period.”
“Phones have been like the gaming computers of the late 90s or early 2000s – every 2 years or so improvements were significant. This has slowed down for gaming computers and laptops and it will probably eventually slow down (and probably already is) for phones. Two big differences are the battery and, as you mentioned, environmental damage/dropping. Batteries will be a driving factor for phone replacement if the batteries continue to be hard/impossible to replace – even if the specs for a phone allow it to be relevant 5 years out, if it cannot power itself then it is useless.”
“Phone have 100% slowed in the performance sector. The newest marketing gimmick on Android is cramming more RAM in the phone then most desktop computers have. New flagship models have up to 10GB RAM!!! Who the fuck needs that? Battery life isn’t even getting better because that’s the one component that hasn’t really developed alongside the rest of the phone so with every software improvement or bigger battery they squeeze more bigger more power hungry components in and it’s a wash. I hope lawmakers like the EU keep pushing for great consumer protection and force manufacturers to include a universal replaceable battery like the good old days. Phones could easily last 5-10 years because laws are rolling out that force companies to provide updates throughout the phones life.”
“While macroeconomic challenges in some markets were a key contributor to this trend , we believe there are other factors broadly impacting our iPhone performance, including consumers adapting to a world with fewer carrier subsidies, US dollar strength-related price increases, and some customers taking advantage of significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements,” Cook wrote, also citing fewer sales than expected in markets like China.
Right to fix advocates have long argued that Apple customers are able to get a lot more from their apparatus if Apple gave them the ability to repair them, but say the company doesn’t want to do that since it will hurt its bottom line.