Replacing Apple batteries has now become more annoying and challenging than ever before. It can’t be done just by anyone but by an authorized service provider.
Batteries run in prime condition when new, but they gradually age over time. When they do, owners’ initial thought is to replace them so the phone can cope with its power demands. Unfortunately, with Apple batteries, replacement isn’t easy. When the company activated a dormant software lock on the new iPhones, DIY repair is nearly impossible.
Apple Doesn’t Want You to Replace Your Own Battery
The battery is probably one of the most common replaceable components of any tech device, especially your phone. No matter how much technology is packed in your iPhone, its battery wears off over time. But, when it comes to fixing this issue, Apple doesn’t want you to replace it on your own or take it to any unauthorized battery-replacement service. The company would rather you take it to one of its authorized service providers or one of its own service locations. If you don’t, it would be more troublesome on your end.
Apple’s policy on new iPhones
It’s not too long ago when Apple announced its new policy regarding battery replacement on its newest iPhones. If your phone needs a new battery, a message will pop up indicating that the battery has degraded thus a replacement is necessary. Even if you install a new genuine Apple battery, if it’s not done by a company’s authorized service provider, the “Service” message will still appear.
You might think that it is a bug or a small system glitch, but it’s not. Unless the battery to the iPhone is authenticated by the right authority, the phone won’t show its battery status and will report a warning. This means that the company is locking batteries to its newest iPhones at the factory. It seems like the only way around this is to pay the company money to replace the battery of your iPhone for you.
There is a Texas Instruments microcontroller on an iPhone battery that provides information about to the phone, including its battery capacity, how much time until it discharges fully, and temperature. Almost all smartphone batteries have this type of version but Apple uses its proprietary version. The ones being used in newer iPhone batteries have other information provided like an authentication feature. What it does is that it stores the information for pairing the iPhone battery to the logic board of the phone.
In other words, if the replacement battery does not have the authentication key that the logic board expects, the warning message will appear. This indicator can be compared to the “Check Oil” light on a car that only Ford dealerships can reset, even though you might have changed the oil already on your own.
What happens if you do a DIY battery replacement?
If you are planning to replace your own battery, it is technically possible to swap the microcontroller chip from the original battery to the new one. This way, you can still view and monitor your new battery’s health. The battery that you have replaced will work perfectly, but it would not be easy to know when it is time for another replacement in the future.
This is one of the problems you are expected to encounter when you do the swapping of the battery on your own. It is also a bigger issue for those unaware of this change. They will replace their own battery when the warning indicator comes out but then the “Service” message will still appear. They might think that there’s an error and try to troubleshoot a problem that is not there.
Even third-party battery health apps don’t work
Today, there are certain apps that anyone can easily download to show their phone’s battery health. But, these don’t work with new iPhones as Apple has blocked these apps from accessing the majority of the details of the battery, including cycle count. Unfortunately, this is vital information for users as it tells them whether the battery is on the brink of degradation or still has some shelf life.
This makes iPhone repairs increasingly challenging and it wasn’t the first time Apple has done something like this. A few years ago, the company has also blocked iPhones that had been repaired by unapproved service providers. An error appeared when users replaced their Touch ID home button since they are matched with the logic board.
Apple only allows repairs performed by them
It is quite obvious that Apple is stopping all repairs done by anyone except those they authorized. But, according to the company, the reason they are doing this is to not jeopardize the integrity of the functionality of an iPhone. Apple added that they just wanted to make sure that the replacement of the battery is properly done by its authorized service providers. They also emphasized their desire to protect their customers from poor quality, damaged, or used batteries that could result in performance or safety issues.
Regardless of their reason, many users are not happy about this, even those reputable service providers that the company didn’t approve of. For them, when they bought their iPhone, they also took ownership of it and should be able to fix it when and how they want. Not seeing the health information of their battery just because the replacement is done by someone else and not what Apple recommends definitely affects their ability to use the phone. They need to know when it is time to replace their battery again to make sure it is running at its best condition all the time.
Many users may not know about this sneaky lockdown that Apple has done for those who wish to replace their iPhone battery. This could lead to confusion and for users who need battery replacement since the new policy was implemented, this means additional financial burden. Although Apply might have a good argument about the restrictive move when it comes to repairing their device, it’s still not easy to convince a lot of users about its necessity.