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Apple may take Dh25.6m hit from iPhone 6s recall in UAE

Alvin R, Cabral/Dubai
Filed on February 6, 2017 | Last updated on February 6, 2017 at 11.15 pm

(Reuters)

Some 88,700 units manufactured in China between September and October 2015 are affected.

Apple is apparently pushing ahead with its recall of iPhone 6s smartphones in the UAE because of an issue that causes units to unexpectedly shut down - and it would cost them "only" a few million dirhams.

According to local media reports, the US technology giant has sent a letter to the UAE Ministry of Economy, informing them of the move. Some 88,700 units manufactured in China between September and October 2015 are affected.

Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, the director of the Consumer Protection Department at the UAE Ministry of Economy, said in a statement that Apple has informed the ministry of defective batteries in specific iPhone 6s models, produced in China between September and October 2015. The statement added that the phones were being recalled as part of regular campaigns that include testing products for reasons that may be unrelated to safety.

Some 88,700 units manufactured in China between September and October 2015 are affected.

On the support page of Apple regarding the matter - in which users can verify if their units are qualified for the recall - the company points out that "this is not a safety issue" and that it only affects "a limited serial number range". The page also makes it clear that only the battery will be replaced and not the entire unit.

Apple confirmed the reports in a statement to Khaleej Times late on Monday.

"Apple has determined that a very small number of iPhone 6s devices may unexpectedly shut down. This is not a safety issue and only affects devices within a limited serial number range that were manufactured between September and October 2015," the Cupertino, California-headquartered company said in the statement.

Additionally, Apple also shared a statement from Dr Al Nuaimi, who said that the phones were "replaced as part of regular campaigns that include testing products for reasons that may be unrelated to safety".

"The replacement programme ma also be part of maintenance campaigns withing the framework of the ministry's efforts to monitor the markets and protect consumers in collaboration with phone companies. Users of iPhones are asked to check Apple's website or visit a customer service centre to see if their device is eligible for battery replacement."

 

Crunching the numbers

Apple's UAE website says battery service for the iPhone 6s - for all iPhone models, in fact - is at Dh289. Giving freebie repairs to all those units would set them back at least Dh25.6 million, since iPhones up for repairs have to go through tests before determining the final fee.

It's a huge sum by any means, but the amount is almost zero - 0.03 per cent, roughly - of Apple's record-shattering $78.35 billion revenue it netted in its most recent fiscal fourth quarter.

This figure is sure to grow when other recalls from different parts of the world are factored in. However, Apple's potential hit may not grow astronomically since the issue only concerns batteries and not entire units.

For comparison, estimates pegged Samsung's global loss from the Galaxy Note 7 debacle at around $17 billion (Dh62.4 billion). For Apple to match that figure, they would to repair over 216 million more iPhone 6s units (based on the UAE service fee).

Aside from the support page, Apple-centric news website 9to5mac also gave users additional information on how to identify if their iPhone 6s phones are eligible for battery replacement.

According to the site, devices affected bear any of the following characters in the fourth and fifth positions of an iPhone 6s' serial number: Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6, Q7, Q8, Q9, QC, QD, QF, QG, QH or QJ.

- alvin@khaleejtimes.com


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