Apple's put out a letter revealing that it's not going to make as many kabillions as it thought it would, and one of the reasons is people replacing their iPhone batteries.
The letter, from Apple CEO Tim Cook to investors, says that instead of the $89-94bn the company expected to make this year (that's from about £70.8bn to about £74.8bn), it's probably only going to make $84bn (£66.9bn). Which doesn't sound like a big difference in that context, but it's actually £3,980,000,000 even at the conservative side of the estimate, and even the Queen doesn't find that much down the sofa.
One of the reasons more people are replacing their phone batteries is that Apple admitted to throttling performance on older iPhones as their batteries aged, to stop them shutting themselves down all the time. When that came out, the company cut its battery replacement fee (but didn't eliminate it altogether, because Apple) and more people took advantage of the service. Those people then didn't have a terrible slow phone, and thus they understandably didn't upgrade to Apple's new handsets at a potential cost of £1k+.
The scandal also taught lots of people how to turn off processor throttling, thereby fixing what was bugging them and again ensuring they didn't upgrade to a new phone.
Apparently, enough people upgraded in the past when their phones got old and slow that it made a significant difference – in the billions of dollars! – to the company's bottom line. We guess it'll be Austerity Central over at Apple now that they're only expecting 84 billion actual dollars – or maybe they'll just double the price of the dongles. [The Verge]