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Apple is raising the price of getting a new battery installed in most iPhones, iPads, and Macs, starting on March 1st. The company made the announcement on the devices’ repair pages, in small text under its price estimators, which was noticed by 9to5Mac.
How much the price hike is depends on what device you have. For iPhones, it’s simple — Apple’s site says “the out-of-warranty battery service fee will be increased by $20 for all iPhone models prior to iPhone 14.” For phones with a home button, that means the price will be going from $49 to $69, and for Face ID phones that means it’ll be going from $69 to $89. Those prices, by the way, were put in place in 2019, after Apple ran a year-long promotion where you could get a new battery for $29, to make up for its battery throttling controversy.
For “all MacBook Air models” the price increase will be $30, bringing the price from $129 to $159. For the MacBook (the 12-inch computer introduced in 2015, though Apple’s site only lists battery service options for the 2016 and 2017 models) and MacBook Pros, the $199 replacements will be going up by $50, to $249.
The iPads are the trickiest, just because there’s so many versions. The price increase is $20 across the lineup, but will apply to the following models, according to Apple’s website:
The price increases aren’t necessarily the most surprising thing ever — Apple’s latest iPhones already had more expensive replacements than their predecessors, as did the iPad Pros.
The elephant in the room is Apple’s self service repair program, which lets you buy batteries for an iPhone 12, 13, or 2022 SE, as well as for a MacBook Air. (Technically you can buy batteries for MacBook Pros as well, but they come as part of a $500-plus top case assembly.) The company’s DIY option has never been a great value compared to just bringing it in to an Apple store, but it’s unclear whether it’ll also be getting more expensive. There doesn’t appear to be a price increase warning on the separate Self Service Repair Store site — battery and screw kits for the iPhone 12 and 13 currently cost $69.00, though you can get around $24 back if you return your old battery. Apple didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment about its DIY pricing.
In theory, the battery replacement fee change shouldn’t affect people who have paid for Apple’s extended service plan — the company’s repair pages for the Mac, iPhone, and iPad all say something like “Your product is eligible for a battery replacement at no additional cost if you have AppleCare+ and your product’s battery holds less than 80% of its original capacity.”
That last part is worth noting because even if you find your battery life intolerable, Apple’s policy is that you’d have to pay to get it replaced unless your device’s software has marked a battery health problem. I have personal experience with this restriction — I took my AppleCare Plus-protected iPhone 12 Mini in to get a battery replacement in February 2022, and was told I’d have to pay if I wanted one because the maximum capacity listed in Settings > Battery > Battery Health and Charging was 84 percent.
Since then it’s felt like my phone’s battery life has cratered even further, but that number hasn’t changed by even a single percent. Even if my phone’s battery has only diminished by 16 percent and hasn’t actually gotten worse in the past year (again, I highly doubt this), it’s still a pretty rough experience; it’s gotten to the point where I have to charge my phone throughout the day if I plan on leaving the house at all.
It’s already a frustrating situation, but I can’t imagine how annoyed I’d be if my AppleCare plan expired in March, after the cutoff date. Thankfully (?), it expired in December, so I have some time to get it at the old price — even if I’ll be slightly annoyed that I have to pay for it at all.