Apple Inc.'s recent admission that it secretly slowed down older iPhones with aging batteries has led to widespread outrage, a proliferation of lawsuits and an unusually abject corporate apology. But it's possible that this episode could end up being a significant opportunity for Apple -- if it finally rethinks some long-held assumptions.
"Batterygate," as it's been dubbed, certainly looks like a disaster. Apple says it simply slowed down the phones to prevent them from crashing, and is offering users $29 battery replacements (instead of the usual $79) to make amends. But that will be costly: By one estimate, it will result in about 16 million fewer upgrades in 2018. Demand for replacements has grown so quickly that waiting lists now stretch for weeks.