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iBone the Repair industry - Apple locks down batteries, marking own batteries as degraded


  • iBone the Repair industry - Apple locks down batteries, marking own batteries as degraded

    iFixIt (Quote source)
    Rossmann Repair Group (media source)



    Apple has embedded a micro-controller in batteries themselves, linking them to a single iPhone. Replacing the battery will any battery, including from another iPhone will mark the battery as degraded





    Apple is effectively announcing a drastic new policy: only Apple batteries can go in iPhones, and only they can install them. If you replace the battery in the newest iPhones, a message indicating you need to service your battery appears in ...Battery Health. The “Service” message is normally an indication that the battery is degraded and needs to be replaced. our lab tests confirmed that even when you swap in a genuine Apple battery, the phone will still display the “Service” message. It’s not a bug; it’s a feature Apple wants. Unless an Apple Genius or an Apple Authorized Service Provider authenticates a battery to the phone, that phone will never show its battery health and always report a vague, ominous problem. This only affects the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max for the time being. The only way around this is—you guessed it—paying Apple money to replace your iPhone battery for you. There’s a Texas Instruments microcontroller on the battery itself that provides information to the iPhone, such as battery capacity, temperature, and how much time until it fully discharges. Apple uses its own proprietary version, but pretty much all smartphone batteries have some version of this chip. The chip used in newer iPhone batteries includes an authentication feature that stores the info for pairing the battery to the iPhone’s logic board. This “Service” indicator is the equivalent of a “Check Oil” light that only a Ford dealership can reset, even if you change the oil yourself. Technically, it is possible to remove the microcontroller chip from the original battery and carefully solder it into the new battery you’re swapping in, restoring the Battery Health feature—but the procedure isn’t for the faint of heart, and it’s an unreasonable requirement for any repair, much less something as simple as a battery swap. Fortunately, your replacement battery will continue to work perfectly fine, and you’ll get all of the benefits that come with a new battery. As of iOS 12 Apple has blocked third-party battery health apps from accessing most of the battery’s details, including cycle count, which is critical information that tells you whether or not your battery is on the brink of degradation. This is an ongoing trend, and Apple is making repair increasingly difficult.


    My Thoughts:

    I can understand embedding a microcontroller to verify battery authenticity, but to lock a single battery to a single phone and mark other authentic batteries as degraded is just plain toxic. Surely this will bring up some lawsuits as if this was a car such as iFixIt pointed out, there would be absolute outrage. I would really love for media to spin this as "Apple may be selling bad batteries, swapping batteries between two iphones will suddenly mark both as bad" but I'm sure that's defamation/slander as it's misrepresenting the truth. Hopefully, the repair community will get some leaked tools to reset these micro-controllers or equipment is made to quickly swap the micro-controllers as well.

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