24 votes

Apple Is Locking iPhone Batteries to Discourage Repair

15 comments

  1. [9]
    welly Link
    Imagine being the engineer tasked to develop this feature. Imagine being in the meetings that defined this requirement. Surely one person in the room called it out as a shitty move.

    Imagine being the engineer tasked to develop this feature. Imagine being in the meetings that defined this requirement. Surely one person in the room called it out as a shitty move.

    19 votes
    1. [4]
      json Link Parent
      I can see them spin it as consumer protection effort to prevent non-genuine and dangerous counterfeit batteries from being installed in phones from unauthorised repair techs. And citing battery...

      I can see them spin it as consumer protection effort to prevent non-genuine and dangerous counterfeit batteries from being installed in phones from unauthorised repair techs. And citing battery explosions as a reason.

      13 votes
      1. teaearlgraycold Link Parent
        Right. I doubt there are many Apple engineers who don't buy into this mindset. It's hard to get someone to believe something when their paycheck depends on their not believing it.

        Right. I doubt there are many Apple engineers who don't buy into this mindset. It's hard to get someone to believe something when their paycheck depends on their not believing it.

        8 votes
      2. nothis Link Parent
        That reminds me when I installed a non-standard ink cartridge in my printer and it exploded in my face, showering me with non-genuine ink acid!

        That reminds me when I installed a non-standard ink cartridge in my printer and it exploded in my face, showering me with non-genuine ink acid!

        2 votes
      3. babypuncher Link Parent
        That doesn't hold up to scrutiny since this "battery security" doesn't actually do anything to prevent people from using third party batteries.

        That doesn't hold up to scrutiny since this "battery security" doesn't actually do anything to prevent people from using third party batteries.

        2 votes
    2. [2]
      burkaman Link Parent
      It's many engineers each working on a feature that seems reasonable. One team is tasked with individually IDing batteries, probably for supply chain management. If you start getting reports of...

      It's many engineers each working on a feature that seems reasonable. One team is tasked with individually IDing batteries, probably for supply chain management. If you start getting reports of batteries catching on fire in the field, now you can track those specific batteries and discover that one batch from one factory is bad, and recall only those phones. The UI team is told that counterfeit batteries are an issue, and they should use this new battery API to warn the user if they have a bad battery. We're not disabling the phone, it's just that our battery life algorithms are tailored for Apple batteries. The service operations team is asked to provide a way for techs to update the battery ID on a phone, since that's a frequent service task and it's important we keep track of the history and origin of each component in a phone.

      We're left with a situation where only the high level product team understands this "battery locking" feature until it's too late.

      11 votes
      1. Litmus2336 Link Parent
        Yeah, it can be crazy how little engineers know about what their companies are doing

        Yeah, it can be crazy how little engineers know about what their companies are doing

        2 votes
    3. [2]
      babypuncher Link Parent
      I'm not sure I see the problem. Third party batteries still work. The only difference now is, if you go to check the battery health in the Settings app, you will see a warning message saying your...

      I'm not sure I see the problem. Third party batteries still work. The only difference now is, if you go to check the battery health in the Settings app, you will see a warning message saying your battery needs to be serviced.

      Apple can't reliably measure the health of third party batteries, it seems like a fair message to me. None of the actual functionality of the phone or the battery is impaired. But that's not going to stop the Apple outrage circlejerk.

      4 votes
      1. cadadr Link Parent
        As said in Rossman's video linked elsewhere in the thread, the feature's purpose is to discourage repair shop repairing the phone. I suggest you go watch it, it contains good answers for you. It...

        As said in Rossman's video linked elsewhere in the thread, the feature's purpose is to discourage repair shop repairing the phone. I suggest you go watch it, it contains good answers for you.

        Apple can't reliably measure the health of third party batteries, it seems like a fair message to me.

        It is not 3rdparty here, it is a fresh battery taken from a freshly opened iPhone X installed into another identical iPhone. I.e. you go out and buy two iPhones now and swap the batteries with one another, it'll say it's not genuine.

        1 vote
  2. [4]
    HanakoIsBestGirl Link
    Please for the love of god can android manufacturers please not copy this like they do every time Apple makes an anti consumer choice. How did we go from user removeable batteries (well not on...

    Please for the love of god can android manufacturers please not copy this like they do every time Apple makes an anti consumer choice.

    How did we go from user removeable batteries (well not on iphones) to this. My phone can hotswap batteries without powering off ffs.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      onlooker Link Parent
      Don't forget the killing of the 3.5mm jack. I thought no phone company would dare follow Apple's footsteps after the backlash that followed the unveiling of iPhone 7, but here we are. Samsung,...

      Don't forget the killing of the 3.5mm jack. I thought no phone company would dare follow Apple's footsteps after the backlash that followed the unveiling of iPhone 7, but here we are. Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi - and I've probably missed a bunch more - have all dropped the headphone jack. I hope they won't start locking down their batteries as well, but I'm not hopeful.

      On an unrelated note, what phone lets you hotswap batteries without powering it off? Sounds neat.

      9 votes
      1. babypuncher Link Parent
        That's because the backlash came from a small but vocal minority.

        That's because the backlash came from a small but vocal minority.

        2 votes
      2. HanakoIsBestGirl Link Parent
        My phone is an lg v20. I dont think you can swap batteries while still on with the stock rom, but I run lineage os with gamma kernel which does support it. One thing I didnt mention though: you...

        My phone is an lg v20. I dont think you can swap batteries while still on with the stock rom, but I run lineage os with gamma kernel which does support it. One thing I didnt mention though: you have to plug into USB power while you swap or the phone will need to be turned off first.

        2 votes
  3. teaearlgraycold Link
    This is an unfortunate consequence of computers getting so cheap and small that cryptographic functions can be performed by a battery, a cable, or any other small component in a larger system.

    This is an unfortunate consequence of computers getting so cheap and small that cryptographic functions can be performed by a battery, a cable, or any other small component in a larger system.

    5 votes