New 'Service' battery message in iOS pushes consumers toward official replacement

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 7
When installing a third-party battery, or a genuine replacement, outside of Apple's authorized repair network, the latest version of iOS displays a new "Service" battery message in the Settings menu that suggests the cell has an undiagnosed problem, disallowing users from accessing Battery Health information.

Service iPhone Battery MessageApple's new "Service" battery message. | Source: iFixit


Detailed in a report from repair specialist and Right to Repair proponent iFixit, the new "Service" battery message appears in the Settings > Battery > Battery Health menu bar.

Under normal circumstances the Battery Health bar is empty aside from a light gray arrow denoting an option to obtain a report on immediate battery capacity and peak performance capability. The feature was first employed in response to revelations that Apple artificially throttles the CPU performance of handsets with degraded batteries to thwart unexpected shutdowns.

After conducting a round of tests, iFixit observed the "Service" message appear when it installed a fresh battery, even a "genuine" part from Apple. As such, the firm believes Apple has instituted a "dormant software lock" that requires an Apple Genius or Apple Authorized Service Provider to authorize a replacement part for use with a specific phone.

Tapping on Battery Health displays an "Important Battery Message" that reads, "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple battery. Health information is not available for this battery." Further, maximum capacity and peak performance capability metrics do not register. A note under the latter reads, "This iPhone is unable to determine battery health. An Apple Authorized Service Provider can service the battery."

According to a recent video produced by TheArtofRepair, Apple's batteries, like most smartphone cells on the market, incorporate a Texas Instruments bq27546 microcontroller that supplies data relating to capacity, temperature and time to full discharge. Chips used in Apple's latest batteries also feature an authentication module which stores information that can be used to pair the cell with an iPhone's logic board, the report said.

The text displayed in the Battery Health pane is mentioned, but not fully explained, in a Support Pages document last updated in March. Provided links point to Apple's official battery service program.

Apple did not reveal the service battery message in release notes for iOS 12.4, nor does the company note a change in battery replacement policy on its website, though it says customers "should" visit Apple or an authorized service provider for support.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 718member
    FU, Apple. This is the stuff that is going to drive me back to PC's after a 12-year run and tens of thousands of dollars donated to your organization.
    boboliciousbobroomike54elijahgjbdragonchemengin1MplsPviclauyycCarnage
  • Reply 2 of 58
    sergiozsergioz Posts: 241member
    I am on Apple side here. Third-party batteries blowing up iPhones and tarnishing brand. This right to repair is a two way stick. One side is good for users because third-party replacements parts are cheap, but unfortunate for Apple because once something goes wrong it’s Apple’s fault. 
    AppleExposedmwhitepscooter63chaickairelandmagman1979chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 58
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,376unconfirmed, member
    zroger73 said:
    FU, Apple. This is the stuff that is going to drive me back to PC's after a 12-year run and tens of thousands of dollars donated to your organization.

    Apple has a 100% right to do this. Remember if anything is YOUR fault Apple gets blamed. Also if an aftermarket battery blows up an iPhone we get tons of articles, videos and memes mocking Apple.

    Also, Apple has a charity?
    pscooter63chaickamike54uraharaGeorgeBMacmagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 58
    dr. xdr. x Posts: 186member
    sergioz said:
    I am on Apple side here. Third-party batteries blowing up iPhones and tarnishing brand. This right to repair is a two way stick. One side is good for users because third-party replacements parts are cheap, but unfortunate for Apple because once something goes wrong it’s Apple’s fault. 
    I get your point but for those that do third party repair, it makes it easier for people. Some Apple Stores are far away and one might not want to drive 2 or more hours just to get their battery replaced by Apple and having to pay Apple's Tax. If one wants to replace their battery, they have to be careful where they get their batteries from. If you get it from a source you don't trust then you might have a problem and to follow instructions on the iFixit website. I think that Apple went overboard with this, blocking battery heath for third party batteries. One just has to be careful where they go to get their display's replaced or battery replaced (do their research) if they don't want to go with Apple.
    mike54elijahgjbdragon
  • Reply 5 of 58
    zroger73 said:
    FU, Apple. This is the stuff that is going to drive me back to PC's after a 12-year run and tens of thousands of dollars donated to your organization.

    Apple has a 100% right to do this. Remember if anything is YOUR fault Apple gets blamed. Also if an aftermarket battery blows up an iPhone we get tons of articles, videos and memes mocking Apple.

    Also, Apple has a charity?
    Would you mind terribly pointing towards any evidence supporting that theory?  Both you and @sergioz used the same claim of aftermarket batteries catching fire and Apple getting blamed.  That really doesn't happen though.  Not really sure what rights you think Apple has, but the right to force 1st party and authorized repair ain't one those rights.  

    Right to repair is focused on consumer protection and consumer choice.  I think anyone advocating against that, especially a consumer putting corporate desires above their own, needs to have their priorities adjusted.
    muthuk_vanalingammike54avon b7elijahgjbdragonchemengin1viclauyyc
  • Reply 6 of 58
    dr. x said:
    I get your point but for those that do third party repair, it makes it easier for people. Some Apple Stores are far away and one might not want to drive 2 or more hours just to get their battery replaced by Apple and having to pay Apple's Tax. 
     Best Buy is an authorized repair center for Apple:

    irelandzroger73GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 58
    chaickachaicka Posts: 134member
    zroger73 said:
    FU, Apple. This is the stuff that is going to drive me back to PC's after a 12-year run and tens of thousands of dollars donated to your organization.
    Oh...Till date, even PC makers are doing similarly. If you don't use their batteries, warranty is void and functions like battery health related don't always work correctly.
    Oh...Maybe ought to F those EU auto-makers as well.
    Rayz2016magman1979Carnagewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 58
    chaickachaicka Posts: 134member
    dr. x said:
    sergioz said:
    I am on Apple side here. Third-party batteries blowing up iPhones and tarnishing brand. This right to repair is a two way stick. One side is good for users because third-party replacements parts are cheap, but unfortunate for Apple because once something goes wrong it’s Apple’s fault. 
    I get your point but for those that do third party repair, it makes it easier for people. Some Apple Stores are far away and one might not want to drive 2 or more hours just to get their battery replaced by Apple and having to pay Apple's Tax. If one wants to replace their battery, they have to be careful where they get their batteries from. If you get it from a source you don't trust then you might have a problem and to follow instructions on the iFixit website. I think that Apple went overboard with this, blocking battery heath for third party batteries. One just has to be careful where they go to get their display's replaced or battery replaced (do their research) if they don't want to go with Apple.
    In Asia, such unauthorized 3rd party repairs is everywhere though not always cheaper than Apple authorized repairs. In the earlier years of iPhone, many goes to these repair stores (since Apple did not have a presence here back then) and guess what is the common feedback/experience most who did (among my friends) shared? Poor quality repairs, sometimes even induce new problems such as damaged edges, touch sensitivity degraded, etc. And guess what? These people don't go to those 3rd party unauthorized store anymore. Now that Apple has expanded presence (both authorized 3rd party repairs as well as own Apple Store), every single day at every single operating hours, the Apple Store is so overwhelmed and wait time can be 2 hours if walk-in without appointment. Now they are opening another store in the country.

    On a personal experience, I had poor experience even with authorized 3rd party repair store. Now - I only visit Apple Store even if it is further away. I want the peace of mind and absolute coverage should something goes wrong (degradation post-repair).
    Rayz2016magman1979
  • Reply 9 of 58
    zroger73 said:
    FU, Apple. This is the stuff that is going to drive me back to PC's after a 12-year run and tens of thousands of dollars donated to your organization.
    Uh, "donated"? You bought things. You didn't give Apple money out of the goodness of your heart. You want to install random fourth-grade batteries into your expensive computer equipment? Go ahead. Have at. But spare us the pontification about it.
    chasmRayz2016pscooter63magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 58
    “When installing a third-party battery, or a genuine replacement” yeah, so what’s the reasoning for not supporting battery info with a genuine part? Because a 50 year old with 40 years of electronic experience can’t follow the same procedures as a 20 yr old to replace a freaking battery? It either works or it doesn’t. Typing in a code or connecting to some Apple hardware after making the swap doesn’t make the physical act of replacement error-free on the Apple employee’s part, or error-prone on the end user’s part. THIS kind of crap is how Apple is going to have problems down the road with governments re: right to repair, monopoly. I’ve been a supporter since the Apple ][ integer machine with cassette deck, but come on, this is a bunch of BS. I’m sure the argument is going to be that they can’t guarantee that the battery will blah, blah, blah, but a freaking disclaimer solves the issue on their end. EULAs are full of them, mostly in their favor anyhow. 
    muthuk_vanalingammike54beowulfschmidtchemengin1viclauyycFileMakerFeller
  • Reply 11 of 58
    adamcadamc Posts: 574member
    For those who think Apple is doing the wrong thing please use something else perhaps you will be better serve there.
    Rayz2016magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 58
    wandersowanderso Posts: 106member
    Replace the word “iPhone” with automobile.  Would you feel the same way about Apple’s decision if Ford, Toyota, or the like behaved in this manner? There are certain components that I would only go to a dealer for. The air bag system is an example.  Yet there are ample things I can do on my own car, using OEM or aftermarket parts that meet or exceed OEM quality. 

    Roll back the clock a bit and we all could replace the battery in our phone in a few seconds.  Same with our laptop memory or battery. 

    Some say that the masses have no interest. I say that it is good for the masses to learn again how to fix things, with companies like Apple leading the way. It’s educational and extends the usable life of products.   
    mazda 3smobirdchemengin1microbeFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 58
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,178member
    wanderso said:
    Some say that the masses have no interest. I say that it is good for the masses to learn again how to fix things, with companies like Apple leading the way. It’s educational and extends the usable life of products.   
    If you truly believe there's a market for all consumers to be able to swap all the components inside CE without tools then go ahead and make that device a reality. If what you claim is what people want because of both the control they'll have and their lower TCO then you'll be a billionaire in no time and Apple will shrivel up like so many technology companies before them.
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 58
    zroger73 said:
    FU, Apple. This is the stuff that is going to drive me back to PC's after a 12-year run and tens of thousands of dollars donated to your organization.

    Apple has a 100% right to do this. Remember if anything is YOUR fault Apple gets blamed. Also if an aftermarket battery blows up an iPhone we get tons of articles, videos and memes mocking Apple.

    Also, Apple has a charity?
    This won't stop Class Actions from being started. Stopping the use from accessing battery data will be like a red rag to a bull for some people.
    IMHO, Apple should have gone the other way and made the battery data always visible unless the user specifically agrees to remove it. Then it comes down to informed consent. They knew the battery was failing yet did nothing about it. Tough getting $$$ from Apple in that case.
    forgot usernamewatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 58
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,642member
    Year-ago anecdotal experience:

    Wife's iPhone 5s battery was dying and not covered under the inexpensive battery replacement program. Went to unauthorized place that specialized in iPhone stuff. They put in a replacement battery that wasn't genuine Apple part for not a lot more than the $29 official Apple battery she didn't qualify for. Worked great ... for a year.

    Around the same time, my iPhone 6s battery was showing signs of degradation/throttling. Opted for the $29 program since I qualified. That genuine Apple battery replacement is still working perfectly. Apple is (very understandably) paranoid about battery fires/combustions. This is their way of getting you to use the genuine Apple battery rather than (but not stopping you from) replacing it with JoeBlow Battery Shack battery that may or may not be as good.

    Draw your own conclusions. I certainly have, based on my experience. I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with this.
    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 58
    Honestly... that is a bunch of crap.

    You should be able to get a new battery from anyone. It’s not a cpu or anything. It’s a freaking battery.

    It’s wrong. They should rectify this in an update. 

    This is the kind of thing you would expect from Google or MS or Samsung. Not Apple.

    Sure, I get it that Apple would rather make more money off of their own batteries and that they can’t guarantee the safety of third party batteries, but that’s up to the user. don’t hinder them just because they did it different than you would like. 
    ArianneFeldrychemengin1
  • Reply 17 of 58
    ajlajl Posts: 108member
    zroger73 said:
    FU, Apple. This is the stuff that is going to drive me back to PC's after a 12-year run and tens of thousands of dollars donated to your organization.

    Apple has a 100% right to do this. Remember if anything is YOUR fault Apple gets blamed. Also if an aftermarket battery blows up an iPhone we get tons of articles, videos and memes mocking Apple.

    Also, Apple has a charity?
    Yes it's true that is better and safe to replace the battery by an Apple-certified technician and it's true that the battery price replacement have been slashed, but do you really believe this should give Apple the right to show a misleading "Service" message even if you install an original battery inside (from a donator iPhone) by yourself?
    edited August 8 muthuk_vanalingamzroger73chemengin1
  • Reply 18 of 58
    M3dzzM3dzz Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I think ios 13 fixed this issue I’m on beta and I replaced my battery myself using a 0 cycle replacement battery I bought from amazon and the battery health is working fine showing 100%
    edited August 8 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 58
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,716member
    wanderso said:
    Replace the word “iPhone” with automobile.  Would you feel the same way about Apple’s decision if Ford, Toyota, or the like behaved in this manner? There are certain components that I would only go to a dealer for. The air bag system is an example.  Yet there are ample things I can do on my own car, using OEM or aftermarket parts that meet or exceed OEM quality. 
     So I replaced “iPhone” with “automobile” and guess what? I found that Toyota does behave in this manner. 

    Battery replacements on a Prius have to be carried out using a genuine Toyota battery and at a genuine Toyota service centre, otherwise your warranty is automatically invalidated. In order to do this, Toyota can obviously tell when you’ve gone off-piste, repairwise. 

    Also bear this in mind: the iFixit report didn’t say that installed battery doesn’t work; they just said that Apple won’t provide information on it (without the correct chip on the battery, they can’t). If the battery was installed by a non-authorised dealer then Apple doesn’t want to get stung by warranty claims for case damage, damaged touchscreens, failed waterproofing, and broken security hardware that can come from dodgy repairs. When an authorised dealer carries out the repair, the info on the phone will tell Apple engineers who carried out the repair and when. If they get a spate of damaged phones returned from the same 3rd party dealer, them they know they have a problem. Without that info, they don’t know where the problem originates. 

    But that doesn’t stop you fitting dodgy batteries to your phone to save a few quid. If it explodes in your pocket then I don’t have a problem. But replace the words “in your pocket” with “on a plane” then that’s a different matter. 
    pscooter63FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 58
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,716member

    cygnus23 said:
    “When installing a third-party battery, or a genuine replacement” yeah, so what’s the reasoning for not supporting battery info with a genuine part? Because a 50 year old with 40 years of electronic experience can’t follow the same procedures as a 20 yr old to replace a freaking battery? It either works or it doesn’t. Typing in a code or connecting to some Apple hardware after making the swap doesn’t make the physical act of replacement error-free on the Apple employee’s part, or error-prone on the end user’s part. 
    So how is Apple supposed  to know that the battery was installed by a 50 year-old with 40 years experience, or a 50 year-old with no experience at all?

    Typing in a code isn’t supposed to tell Apple if the repair worked or not. It tells Apple who screwed up the repair which damaged the phone and/or the battery. 

    And here’s another advantage: if you’re buying a second hand iPhone, you can flip to the battery screen before you hand over the money and see if the phone has had an authorised battery replacement. No doubt this will be the first thing Apple will check when you trade in your phone. They won’t want a phone they can’t sell on because they have no service history for it. 

    Apple should just stop pussyfooting about and just say, “Fine. Take your phone to wherever you want to fix it. But if it’s outside our approved service network then we’re washing our hands of it.”


    FileMakerFellermacxpresswatto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.