iPhone battery replacement

A recent report outlined how Apple is essentially “locking” some iPhone batteries in an effort to reduce third-party replacements. Apple has now officially responded to that report, saying it’s all about the consumer.

On Wednesday, Apple sent out an official statement regarding third-party battery replacements, which stems from an earlier report from iFixit detailing how the company “locks” certain iPhone batteries in an effort to clamp down on third-party replacements.

The statement was provided today to iMore, saying it added a “new feature” to iOS last year. That new feature is the message that pops up reading, “Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine battery” when a battery from a non-authorized Apple service provider, or Apple itself, is recognized within the iPhone model. Apple will then essentially stop showing battery-related information pertaining to its health.

Apple’s comment puts the customer at the fore, saying it wants to make sure that they are safe, and that battery replacement is “done properly”.

Here’s Apple’s statement on the matter:

If the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, or iPhone XR cannot verify the battery installed within it, it will simply say as much, and instead show “Service” within the battery health area.

Here’s how iFixit described the situation in its original report earlier this month:

If you replace the battery in the newest iPhones, a message indicating you need to service your battery appears in Settings > Battery, next to Battery Health. The “Service” message is normally an indication that the battery is degraded and needs to be replaced. The message still shows up when you put in a brand new battery, however. Here’s the bigger problem: our lab tests confirmed that even when you swap in a genuine Apple battery, the phone will still display the “Service” message.

Put simply, Apple is locking batteries to their iPhones at the factory, so whenever you replace the battery yourself—even if you’re using a genuine Apple battery from another iPhone—it will still give you the “Service” message. The only way around this is—you guessed it—paying Apple money to replace your iPhone battery for you. Presumably, their secretive diagnostic software can flip the magic bit that resets this “Service” indicator. But Apple refuses to make this software available to anyone but themselves and Apple Authorized Service Providers.

This is yet another battery-related issue for Apple. The company caught some bad attention when it was revealed it was throttling some older iPhone models in an effort to reduce strain on aging batteries. That obviously didn’t go over well for customers, and forced Apple to launch a battery replacement program at a reduced price, and add the battery health diagnostics information as well.

And this is not the first time that Apple has used this line of reasoning. Earlier this month, for instance, we reported that Apple says it wants to make sure that iPhone repairs are done safely and properly, which is why it wants to limit third-party repairs.

What do you think of all this? Is Apple mishandling yet another battery situation?