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iPhone/iPad batteries, charging, etc.

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Ouch, I guess this issue isn't over yet...
You have to wonder why that's only with more recent iPhone models. Is Apple using a different battery supplier?

If so, that reinforces my decision not to have the battery in my 4-year-old iPhone 6 Plus replaced before the end of the year (after which the price goes up $20). At 90% capacity, it ain't broke...
 


I think you misunderstand the issue, which is not that Apple has implemented mechanisms for solving a technical issue with battery power but rather that Apple did this in secret without telling its customers...
This information can be found [now] in iOS by going to Settings > Battery > Battery Health. After all of the news that was generated by this issue in the early months of 2018, I think it's safe to assume that Apple will be using this method as a means of extending the life of iOS devices going forward.
 


It's a lot easier giving Apple the benefit of the doubt as long as the company handles software changes transparently. For example, every driver is aware of the so-called 'idiot lights' on their dashboard alerting them to issues such as potentially low oil levels, unhappy engine emissions, or even low tire pressure.

Nothing prevented Apple from adding a red notification dot to the "General" App that alerted users to potentially reduced performance due to battery issues. After all, Apple does add these notifications to that icon for upgrades, etc.

Even more troubling for me is Apple's stance re: right to repair... their absolutist stance is going to cost them a lot of customer goodwill over the long run. Service manuals, repair parts, etc. should not only be accessible to Apple-controlled entities. The explanations (thus far) like security may only make real sense in the context of a very narrow list of replacement parts, such as the motherboard, security enclave, or fingerprint processor.

Even worse, Apple has allegedly worked with Customs and Border control to prevent the importation of replacement batteries that Apple no longer sells. So you can't get the battery from Apple, due to the computer being 'vintage', but Apple also uses the power of the US federal government to seize shipments that may violate this sort of self-imposed embargo.

Right to repair is really important. Don't let cries for preserving security fool you, because this can be merely security through obscurity as opposed to security that can withstand public scrutiny.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
More from Wired:
Brian Barrett said:
Apple Will Keep Throttling iPhones With Old Batteries. Here's How to Stop It
Last year, controversy stirred as Apple acknowledged that it had, in fact, purposefully inhibited iPhone performance when the battery neared the end of its useful life. The good news: It wasn’t just in your head! The less-good news: Apple will continue the practice with the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X.
...
It’s not surprising that Apple will continue throttling iPhones. It’s not like it only did it in the first place as a prank; it actually does serve a purpose. But at least now you’re aware that it’s happening—and more importantly, have the ability to stop it.
 


You have to wonder why that's only with more recent iPhone models. Is Apple using a different battery supplier?

If so, that reinforces my decision not to have the battery in my 4-year-old iPhone 6 Plus replaced before the end of the year (after which the price goes up $20). At 90% capacity, it ain't broke...
I own an iPhone 6s that was covered by an Apple defective battery replacement program (iPhone 6s Program for Unexpected Shutdown Issues). So, a little over a year ago, Apple put in a new battery for free.

Now let's jump forward to this year. Even though the Battery status in Settings showed 90%/no throttling, I decided to grab a $29 battery last month before Apple's current discounted battery program expires. When I arrived for my "Genius" Bar appointment, the rep plugged my phone into his "Genius" iPad and told me I qualified for another free battery. He said the battery failed a diagnostic test.

It might be worthwhile, then, for anybody using an iPhone battery more than a year old – even if it was replaced only 12-18 months ago – to make a "Genius" Bar appointment. Even if Apple won't replace the battery for free (I don't know if I got to double-dip in the earlier program or if the first free replacement was defective, I didn't want to push my luck), at least you'll get a discounted battery and a reset of the battery warranty clock.
 


I can guarantee you that if Apple didn't implement the slow-down approach, then those very same journalists would start criticizing Apple for selling a device that can't remain charged long enough to make a phone call.

Apple is in a no-win situation here and will remain there until somebody invents a battery that never wears out. I suppose they could start making user-replaceable batteries, but it appears that nobody in the industry is willing to do that anymore.
Two thoughts:
  • As a journalist, I just want to say that this problem is not the fault of the people who write about and critique ("criticize") Apple's policies and products. The fault lies with the products, not the messengers.
  • More importantly, this particular problem is not so much the fault of failing to invent longer-lasting batteries, or even batteries that are inexpensive and user-replaceable (which is the solution used by makers of most battery-powered products). But rather, the fault is Apple's for devoting so much of its engineering to building products which demand ever-greater battery power, even while battery technology has (still!) not caught up and is incapable of powering those devices. Apple doesn't have to invent better battery technology, but if it doesn't, then it should stop inventing devices which tax its own batteries so much that its own products fail for lack of power.
  • One possibility would be to give users the ability to turn off unnecessary, battery-draining software and hardware; for each user, those choices might be different.
Meanwhile, users are faced with "miracle" devices which can't keep up with their own demands for power, and lots of battery-sapping features they can't turn off even if they're not needed.
 


Nothing prevented Apple from adding a red notification dot to the "General" App that alerted users to potentially reduced performance due to battery issues. After all, Apple does add these notifications to that icon for upgrades, etc.
The notification Apple shows to owners of iOS devices when “throttling” is applied is shown at the top of this article, and it is much more obvious than a red badge on the Settings app.
Cult of Mac said:
Apple adds new alert when your iPhone battery is failing
This iPhone has experienced an unexpected shutdown because the battery was unable to deliver the necessary peak power. Performance management has been applied to help prevent this from happening again.
 


It might be worthwhile, then, for anybody using an iPhone battery more than a year old – even if it was replaced only 12-18 months ago – to make a "Genius" Bar appointment. Even if Apple won't replace the battery for free (I don't know if I got to double-dip in the earlier program or if the first free replacement was defective, I didn't want to push my luck), at least you'll get a discounted battery and a reset of the battery warranty clock.
Will Apple let you just buy the battery or do you need to have it installed as well? I'd rather get the OEM battery now at the discounted price and install it myself when the time comes.
 


You have to wonder why that's only with more recent iPhone models. Is Apple using a different battery supplier?
If so, that reinforces my decision not to have the battery in my 4-year-old iPhone 6 Plus replaced before the end of the year (after which the price goes up $20). At 90% capacity, it ain't broke...
That's what I was thinking with my iPhone SE battery, also reading 90% capacity. But then funny things starting happening, like very rapid discharge and even one unexpected shutdown. Battery health was still allegedly good.

Paid $35 (Canadian) to get the battery replaced at the local Apple Store, and the difference is like night and day.

Moral of the story is that the battery health readout in Settings is not reliable.

Btw, I'm not sure what $20 price increase you're referring to. In Canada, the price is going from $35 back to $100 in the new year... I think the U.S. price jump is proportionally similar. So, if I were in your shoes, I'd get the battery replaced.
 


I keep my phone in my pants pocket, and once in a while the lightning port or headphone jack (what's that?) will not 'click' when inserting the cable; that's when I grab a toothpick and start pulling out all the lint that's accumulated, preventing proper seating of the connector.
I have found lint to be a huge problem for my use with the lightning port. When I first had the problem, I thought my phone has ruined.

I've switched to using a cheap Magsafe-type adapter and cable. A small nubbin plugs into the phone, separate cable. Micro-USB and other types are available, which simplifies things for me - I now use it for most devices. The nubbin, of course, blocks lint; it sticks out a bit, which I don't find bothersome, and actually helps me determine 'right side up' for my devices.
The biggest advantage is that the cable magnetically snaps to the adapter - meaning no effort to attach the cable, easy to do one-handed (e.g. driving), or by touch in the dark. It makes charging about as easy as tossing devices onto those wireless charging pads - easy for a young child, and cable detaches with less chance of breakage.

Caveat: I do not know how well these cables work with high-speed charging or data transfer. I find I don't worry about high-speed, because charging is much easier - it turns out removing that 'fiddle with inserting the connector' step makes it almost-automatic, and I charge things all the time.

I don't have a specific reference or brand recommendation - searches for 'iphone magnetic cable' turn up many options. They're not all mutually compatible.
 


I'm not sure what $20 price increase you're referring to. In Canada, the price is going from $35 back to $100 in the new year... I think the U.S. price jump is proportionally similar.
iPhone service pricing:
Apple said:

Battery service


In-warranty or with AppleCare+



Out of warranty


iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR


$0​



$69​


iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X


$0​



$29 *​


All other eligible models


$0​



$79​

* Through December 31, 2018, the out-of-warranty battery service fee is $29 for all eligible iPhone 6 or later models. Battery service at $29 may be limited to one repair per iPhone. After December 31, 2018, the fee will change to $49 for all these products except iPhone X which will change to $69.
 


Thanks, David and apologies to Nick; I stand corrected! The corresponding Canadian price list says more or less the same thing: After December 31, it goes up from $35 to $65 for the SE through 8 Plus. (Not quite proportional, since it's increasing 86% as opposed to only 69% in the US.)

I was relying on my memory (always a risky proposition) of pre-"batterygate" pricing having been $99 Canadian (I think it was $79 US?), and assumed it would revert to those levels after the special pricing ended. Is my memory faulty, or is Apple actually keeping the post-2018 battery replacement prices lower than the original prices for those particular models?
 




I forgive you. :)

Also, thanks for the story about your battery going bad. Mine is rarely below 50% at the end of a day, just as it's always been. Was yours like that, showing 90%, when it suddenly failed?
Yes, 90% was the "Maximum Capacity" reading in Settings > Battery Health. It also indicated "Your battery is currently supporting normal peak performance."

Everything was fine until suddenly a few weeks ago I started seeing typical dying-battery behaviour like the percentage charge indicator counting down right before my eyes ... for example, going from 80% to 60% in one minute. Restarts didn't help, nor did turning off background refresh or any of the other usual tricks. It got rapidly worse over the next few days and on one occasion it went from around 70% to around 20% within a few minutes and then suddenly shut down.

The only thing remarkable about all this was that the Battery Health indicators kept insisting everything was fine -- still 90% maximum capacity and supporting "normal peak performance". I started wondering if it was the indicator itself that was wonky, so I did the "calibration" process a couple of times (run it down until it shuts off, then charge fully in one go), but that didn't help, nor did a DFU mode firmware restore.

Logically it seems that either the indicator failed to detect a failing battery, or the battery was fine but the hardware component of the indicator failed. According to the Genius, the latter is part of the battery assembly, so I guess I'll never know.

The battery replacement cleared everything up and battery life is now great again. (Gotta keep this SE going because I don't want anything bigger ... too much one-handed use while standing on the subway.)
 


Yes, 90% was the "Maximum Capacity" reading in Settings > Battery Health. It also indicated "Your battery is currently supporting normal peak performance."

Everything was fine until suddenly a few weeks ago I started seeing typical dying-battery behaviour like the percentage charge indicator counting down right before my eyes ... for example, going from 80% to 60% in one minute. Restarts didn't help, nor did turning off background refresh or any of the other usual tricks. It got rapidly worse over the next few days and on one occasion it went from around 70% to around 20% within a few minutes and then suddenly shut down.

The only thing remarkable about all this was that the Battery Health indicators kept insisting everything was fine -- still 90% maximum capacity and supporting "normal peak performance". I started wondering if it was the indicator itself that was wonky, so I did the "calibration" process a couple of times (run it down until it shuts off, then charge fully in one go), but that didn't help, nor did a DFU mode firmware restore.

Logically it seems that either the indicator failed to detect a failing battery, or the battery was fine but the hardware component of the indicator failed. According to the Genius, the latter is part of the battery assembly, so I guess I'll never know.

The battery replacement cleared everything up and battery life is now great again. (Gotta keep this SE going because I don't want anything bigger ... too much one-handed use while standing on the subway.)
That's exactly what mine was doing. It had been working great for awhile, then one day suddenly just started acting like that. The most noticeable battery drain was when it was updating apps. I had been a bit worried it was an issue with the processor running at full throttle, but after reading some things, and looking at the error logs from the iPhone I didn't see anything obvious. Still I did a complete reset of my phone and the issue cropped right back up before I even restored things from a backup.

Looking at which apps were using the most battery, there would always be one using a crazy high amount, but it seemed like every day which app that was would change... sometimes it being an app I hadn't even opened in weeks! I wasn't entirely convinced that replacing the battery would even solve the wackiness, but I figured I'd give it a go before the price went back up.

When they tested the phone they told me the battery was still reporting as fine - I told them the issues I was having and the person doing the replacement told me she had no clue if it would fix my problem, but that of course if I wanted they'd gladly replace the battery.

I'm happy that it did end up fixing the problem for me (so far it seems, it's been a couple weeks, so fingers crossed it stays this way... I'm in no hurry to have to switch to a new iPhone).
 


Logically it seems that either the indicator failed to detect a failing battery, or the battery was fine but the hardware component of the indicator failed. According to the Genius, the latter is part of the battery assembly, so I guess I'll never know.
Apple's battery health tool seems to me a lot like SMART is for storage. If it reports a problem, then you've got a problem. But failure to a report a problem does not necessarily mean everything is OK.
 


This will be an unusual (for me) callout!

I've avoided replacing my battery since last year, since the only Apple (type) store here is in the mall, in the center, and I hate malls. And this store is known for talking all day to fix anything, and frequently sending stuff away to their repair facility for days.

Then I found out Best Buy does Apple-certified repairs.

I made an appointment online and was in and out of the store in less than an hour with a new $29 battery. They're over-lighted and noisy and confusing to be in. But they were very polite and very fast.

Best Apple repair experience since 1985! Who'd have thought!
 


A quick comment on my iPhone 6 battery replacement mission today: Went to the W 14th St Apple Store and, after a short wait, was assisted by a very nice Apple guy. He ran diagnostics on my phone, which was housed in a nice, sturdy Speck case. The battery checked out as near-perfect, despite 3 years of use and evidence that I had observed that not all was well with it.

He was very thorough and examined other possible reasons for it to drain quickly, then said that they would replace the battery anyway. He took it out of its Speck case, and said something like “Whoa, that’s why your battery is not behaving normally.” The phone now had enough of a battery bulge that there was a significant gap showing on that side. When it was in the (did I say sturdy??) Speck case, it was perfectly flat and functioning well except for subpar battery function.

He said they couldn’t replace the battery but that he could give me a replacement phone for $29. I agreed to that, but I am somewhat regretting it. I wonder if I should have ordered a kit from iFixit and attempted the repair myself.

It was my old phone, being kept as a backup. To my surprise, after my iPhone 7 had been activated last March, which required a trip to the Sprint store and a new SIM, the iPhone 6 remained active, too. The replacement iPhone 6, with the SIM from the bulging phone in it, will not activate on the Sprint network. Otherwise, restoring from my backup worked fine. Presumably, if something happened to my 7, I could get Sprint to activate this one?
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... The replacement iPhone 6, with the SIM from the bulging phone in it, will not activate on the Sprint network. Otherwise, restoring from my backup worked fine. Presumably, if something happened to my 7, I could get Sprint to activate this one?
There are two issues I see. The most critical is whether the new iPhone is compatible with Sprint or not (as Sprint uses different technology from some other carriers). I think you should see something like "LTE" if that's working - i.e. an indication that the phone is talking successfully with Sprint cell towers.

The second is registration of the phone's IMEI ID with Sprint (available via Settings > General > About). When I recently bought a refurb iPhone 7 from Apple and took it to be activated at a carrier store, they needed that number (which apparently was in microscopic print on the SIM tray, though I couldn't see it).
 


There are two issues I see. The most critical is whether the new iPhone is compatible with Sprint or not (as Sprint uses different technology from some other carriers). I think you should see something like "LTE" if that's working - i.e. an indication that the phone is talking successfully with Sprint cell towers.

The second is registration of the phone's IMEI ID with Sprint (available via Settings > General > About). When I recently bought a refurb iPhone 7 from Apple and took it to be activated at a carrier store, they needed that number (which apparently was in microscopic print on the SIM tray, though I couldn't see it).
The replacement 6 is an unlocked model, as was the previous iPhone 6, which I bought at the Apple Store and then took to Sprint for activation. Same procedure with my refurb iPhone 7. The replacement is getting no cell signal at all, although “About…” shows Sprint as the carrier, presumably because of the Sprint SIM transferred from the old phone. Will have to look at the SIM tray.
 



There are two issues I see. The most critical is whether the new iPhone is compatible with Sprint or not (as Sprint uses different technology from some other carriers). I think you should see something like "LTE" if that's working - i.e. an indication that the phone is talking successfully with Sprint cell towers.

The second is registration of the phone's IMEI ID with Sprint (available via Settings > General > About). When I recently bought a refurb iPhone 7 from Apple and took it to be activated at a carrier store, they needed that number (which apparently was in microscopic print on the SIM tray, though I couldn't see it).
According to the links you shared (thanks), the only difference between the AT&T/T-Mobile/Verizon version and the Global/Sprint and China Mobile versions are support for TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE, both of which only seem to be used in China.

Sprint's wireless bands seem to mostly be compatible with all of the models. The big difference is that the non-Sprint models don't support LTE band 41, which Sprint uses for some LTE Advanced services (which they are marketing as "LTE Plus"). So the non-Sprint model should work, but may not be able to take advantage of Sprint's newest features.

Note that the "LTE" indicator in the upper-left corner simply means the phone is using LTE for its data network. Note that that indicator disappears when you are connected to a Wi-Fi network. The carrier name and bars to the left of that indicator will tell you if you are connected to a wireless phone network.

I suspect the registration of the IMEI is more important. Sprint still relies on 1x (2G) and EVDO (3G) technology for connection to the voice network. As far as I know, they still have not rolled out VoLTE (voice over LTE). These 2G and 3G features probably don't use the SIM card, but need the phone itself to be "activated" on the network in the same manner as was the case for 2G and 3G phones.

Fortunately, you don't need to read micro-print in the SIM tray. If the phone boots up, you can go to Settings -> General -> About and scroll down to get the IMEI number.

I expect you will be able to call Sprint's customer support and/or bring the phone to one of their stores to activate it.
 


When it was in the (did I say sturdy??) Speck case, it was perfectly flat and functioning well except for subpar battery function.
While I am glad to see this post, I must admit it has scared me somewhat.

I own a 6 Plus, purchased in early 2015. It has served me well. Before it even arrived, I purchased a Speck CandyShell Grip case, because I am physically disabled, and would otherwise be in near constant (legitimate) fear of dropping it. The case has completely prevented nearly four years' worth of potential damage on that front.

But to read that the case could potentially disguise a swollen battery to such a degree?

Wow. My battery life seems (mostly) acceptable, though it does drop sooner than I would like at times. The capacity is listed at 87% and the battery supports "peak performance" according to Battery Health.

Do I need to rethink my choice of case?

I am scared to take the phone out of the case to inspect it, lest my experience be similar to yours – minus the nearby Apple employee. I guess I need to make sure it is backed up as the first order of business.
 


He said they couldn’t replace the battery but that he could give me a replacement phone for $29. I agreed to that, but I am somewhat regretting it. I wonder if I should have ordered a kit from iFixit and attempted the repair myself.
I had the same experience at our local Apple store. The bulging battery still worked perfectly, as did the phone, but the screen was popped loose along the left side.

I brought it in for battery replacement and was told that was not possible because of the risk of fire/explosion. Apple reportedly would not allow technical personnel to handle such a phone. The SIM was removed and the data was wiped before the phone was sent to the graveyard. I wonder how they contain and ship such a risky device?
 


While I am glad to see this post, I must admit it has scared me somewhat. I own a 6 Plus, purchased in early 2015. It has served me well. Before it even arrived, I purchased a Speck CandyShell Grip case, because I am physically disabled, and would otherwise be in near constant (legitimate) fear of dropping it. The case has completely prevented nearly four years' worth of potential damage on that front.
But to read that the case could potentially disguise a swollen battery to such a degree? Wow. My battery life seems (mostly) acceptable, though it does drop sooner than I would like at times. The capacity is listed at 87% and the battery supports "peak performance" according to Battery Health. Do I need to rethink my choice of case? I am scared to take the phone out of the case to inspect it, lest my experience be similar to yours – minus the nearby Apple employee. I guess I need to make sure it is backed up as the first order of business.
That Speck Candy Shell Grippy case is the one I have used with both phones. I think it’s probably safe to remove your phone and check for damage, after backing it up. I put the iPhone 6 into the current case this past summer, because the original case was showing some wear and tear. At that time, after more than 3 years of use, and with some noticeable but not critical reduction in battery life, the phone was not showing any sign of a bulging battery.

I did leave it connected most of the time, though, once it was no longer in regular use. Could that have caused the battery to go haywire?
 




Yesterday I visited the Brighton (UK) Apple Store for a pre-booked session to change the battery on my iPhone 6s Plus. The appointment was for 15:00. They collected the iPhone at 15:00 and told me it would be ready at 16:45. I gather the reason for the delay is to allow the new battery to be charged up to 30%, as they are not shipped charged, for air safety reasons.

I managed to wile my time at an Apple Watch session which was well presented and interesting; certainly answered a few questions.

The old iPhone battery was showing 80%, and the new one is 100%. Finally the iPhone is real snappy in performance. ...
 


That Speck Candy Shell Grippy case is the one I have used with both phones. I think it’s probably safe to remove your phone and check for damage, after backing it up.
As a follow-up, I never did get around to removing it from the case for inspection. Last week, we went out to a restaurant we rarely visit; it's only 6 miles away. We couldn't remember where to make a specific turn, so I used my iPhone 6 Plus, which happened to have a 51 percent charge, to navigate. By the time we got there (no real traffic to speak of) the charge was only 38 percent. Alarmed, I turned it off and did not power it up until I got home. The charge had dropped to 33 percent, despite the fact that the phone was powered off.

According to the phone itself, the battery capacity was rated at 87 percent, and the battery was "currently supporting normal peak performance" (which strikes me as an uncharacteristically odd grammatical choice coming from Apple).

The replacement went fine, and the difference in performance is much greater than I expected. There were, thankfully, no signs of a swollen battery upon removal from the case.

The only strange after-effect is that the Health app is now under the false impression that I own two Apple watches: one before and one after the replacement. I am afraid to remove the "old" one, lest it take all the pre-replacement health data with it. I thought I had thoroughly unpaired the watch beforehand, but I guess I missed a step somewhere.
 



I tried to update the battery in my iPhone 6s, but when I arrived at the Apple Store for my appointment, they said I'd have to update my OS. After some back-and-forth and a trip to the back to consult with a tech, I was told they could "try" to upgrade the battery but that there would be a chance that their diagnostic tool they connect after the upgrade might prevent the phone from ever booting again (essentially bricking my phone). If that happened, they would give me a new (refurbished) iPhone 6s as replacement, but my data would be unrecoverable. My phone was recently backed up, but I decided I didn't want to take the risk. My battery is still adequate for now, so I'll just pay the extra $20 if/when I decide to relinquish favored older apps that aren't compatible with the new OS.

But, what the heck diagnostics tool are they employing after a battery replacement that it would risk bricking my phone? And how the heck did they accomplish battery replacements back when my OS was current-at-the-time? I've had iPhone batteries replaced in the past on those older OSes, and nobody ever raised a concern that it would brick my phone.

(Side note note on batteries... my wife had also brought in her phone for troubleshooting an iCloud backup issue. The backup size reported by her phone was well under the available space in her iCloud account, but the phone wouldn't back up. The Apple employee helping us was pretty uninformed about iCloud backup. I had to show him where the relevant screens were where the space was reported. And his only suggestion was to reset the phone. Overall, not a very favorable "genius" visit.)
 


My iPhone 6+ had a pregnant battery with expanding of the case. It was immediately replaced with a refurbed unit (like new). I installed a new Zagg screen protector and new Mophie battery case (it was pregnant also and was replaced at no charge by Mophie) and basically have a new system in addition to the iPhone 7+ and 8+. I acquired a new Max with the 7+ as a trade. The 6+ is going to go to my daughter in law. The 8+ will be the backup phone, once I get the backups accomplished.

So the replacement iPhone 6+ for $29 and 90-day warranty is a real good deal.
 


I was in the Apple Store yesterday to get the battery and screen replaced on an older iPhone 6. I didn't buy this new. They refused to repair it, because it had 3rd-party parts, even though I wanted the parts replaced.

Is this normal? Seems odd to me.
 


After reading some favorable reports about older iPhones and iOS 12, I finally bit the bullet and drove down the Apple iOS upgrade one-way street with my iPhone 6 (iOS 10.3.3 to iOS 12.1.2).

I wanted to know what my battery life was before the Dec. 31 deadline for the discounted replacement. For some strange reason my Battery Health > Maximum Capacity is shown as 100%. I know I've treated it with kid gloves, but this seems very unrealistic. I restarted the phone and also did a hard reset, with no change to the status. Any thoughts?
 


I was in the Apple Store yesterday to get the battery and screen replaced on an older iPhone 6. I didn't buy this new. They refused to repair it, because it had 3rd-party parts, even though I wanted the parts replaced.
Is this normal? Seems odd to me.
The same thing happened to my son with his iPhone 6. The very, very frustrating thing was that we are 99.9% sure that the phone had never been opened before. For him, the tech said it was just the battery that was third-party, but even when my son offered to pay the normal, non-discounted price for the battery replacement, the tech refused. With new iPhones costing $750+, this is a really great way for Apple to make its customers leave their ecosystem.

On a related note, buyer beware of any "refurbished" iOS devices available at eBay or Amazon. If this is now common practice, Apple will not repair them if they don't have "genuine" Apple parts inside!
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Tim Cook's stunning letter to investors about Apple's revenue shortfall has raised additional questions.
ZDNet said:
This is why Apple doesn't want you fixing your smartphone
... Apple listed several reasons why it had to backtrack on its 60-day old revenue guidance to issue the profits warning, but one of the reasons listed seemed particularly candid [emphasis added]:
"While macroeconomic challenges in some markets were a key contributor to this trend, we believe there are other factors broadly impacting our iPhone performance, including consumers adapting to a world with fewer carrier subsidies, US dollar strength-related price increases, and some customers taking advantage of significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements."
Apple introduced this reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements following the discovery of code in the iOS operating system that throttled the performance of iPhones if the battery was showing signs of wear (which itself appears to be a side effect of Apple's pursuit of thinner and lighter iPhones).

Now, this statement about battery replacements having an impact on iPhone sales raises a number of questions....
 


According to the links you shared (thanks), the only difference between the AT&T/T-Mobile/Verizon version and the Global/Sprint and China Mobile versions are support for TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE, both of which only seem to be used in China. Sprint's wireless bands seem to mostly be compatible with all of the models. The big difference is that the non-Sprint models don't support LTE band 41, which Sprint uses for some LTE Advanced services (which they are marketing as "LTE Plus"). So the non-Sprint model should work, but may not be able to take advantage of Sprint's newest features.
Note that the "LTE" indicator in the upper-left corner simply means the phone is using LTE for its data network. Note that that indicator disappears when you are connected to a Wi-Fi network. The carrier name and bars to the left of that indicator will tell you if you are connected to a wireless phone network. I suspect the registration of the IMEI is more important. Sprint still relies on 1x (2G) and EVDO (3G) technology for connection to the voice network. As far as I know, they still have not rolled out VoLTE (voice over LTE). These 2G and 3G features probably don't use the SIM card, but need the phone itself to be "activated" on the network in the same manner as was the case for 2G and 3G phones.
Fortunately, you don't need to read micro-print in the SIM tray. If the phone boots up, you can go to Settings -> General -> About and scroll down to get the IMEI number.
I expect you will be able to call Sprint's customer support and/or bring the phone to one of their stores to activate it.
A follow up to this discussion of iPhone battery replacement: I noticed recently that my replacement iPhone 6, which had stubbornly refused to re-establish contact with Sprint after the SIM from my deceased iPhone 6 was transferred into it, has at some point since then reconnected to the Sprint network. I don’t think I did anything that would have caused this to occur. It seems to have just automagically happened. Go figure.
 


I have a perplexing problem and would be grateful for others' experiences and/or recommendations.

Last year, my iPhone 6S started to suffer from fast battery drain. As Apple had the reduced price battery replacement programme, I took it to my local Apple Store and - after the Genius agreed that the battery showed degraded performance - it was replaced.

When there was marginal (if any) change to the speed of battery drain*, I tried reinstalling iOS after putting the phone into Recovery Mode (to force a complete wipe and download). Apart from signing-in to iCloud and pairing my Apple Watch, I managed with the stock apps for a week. Again, nothing changed. The Apple Store changed the battery again (even though I was pretty sure this was going nowhere) and nothing changed.

I decided at that point to re-install my apps one-by-one from the App Store and wait for iOS 12. When this came along, nothing changed, so I went through the backup/restore, wipe/reinstall apps processes again without any success.

After emailing to Tim Cook explaining my predicament, Executive Relations contacted me and asked me to work with second-level support. After several weeks, this resulted in agreement that the handset had a hardware issue, and it was replaced. This is where the perplexing part comes in: nothing changed.

I eventually got a new SIM - even though my carrier said it could not be to blame - so there is none of the original hardware. I've explained to Apple that (to me) this means there's a software problem and that, if it's not a fatal alignment of the hardware and the OS, it must either be something app-induced or - because it manifests with the stock apps - something bad in data that's being synced across iCloud.

I'm heavily invested in Apple's 'ecosystem', but I am loath in these circumstances simply to buy a new iPhone because there's no guarantee that anything will change. Short of going back to Tim Cook, I'm stuck.


*Typically, the battery drops quickly from 100% to 80-ish% after coming off charge and will be well under 20% within 5-6 hours. I am not a heavy voice or data user, but I do use location services for geofencing. I spend most of my day at a single location with excellent WiFi coverage and a decent 4G signal. None of these factors have changed since I bought the phone. I have not noticed any correlation between the amount of voice traffic or explicit data usage (emails, browsing, etc) and the speed of drain.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I have a perplexing problem and would be grateful for others' experiences and/or recommendations....
One thing that can drain batteries quickly is simply using the iPhone as a phone. How much time you spend on actual phone calls?

Did Apple replace your iPhone 6S with another iPhone 6S?

And, have you checked the Settings > Battery > Battery Usage by App to see what that says?
 


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