Newer iPhone models contain software that effectively impedes third-party battery replacement, according to a repair advocacy group. Apple says it introduced the software as a safety measure.
Apple iPhone XS, XR and XS Max models have software that triggers an alert message if the phone detects anything but a “genuine Apple battery,” iFixit.com wrote in an article. According to iFixit, the software hinders any third-party battery repair, even if the replacement battery is an official Apple battery.
That means unless an authorized Apple service provider replaces the battery, “the phone will never show its battery health and always report a vague, ominous problem,” according to the report.
The phone will display a message saying it is “unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine battery.” The iFixit report likened the service message to a “check oil” light that can only be reset by a car dealership.
“Presumably, [Apple’s] internal diagnostic software can flip the magic bit that resets this ‘service’ indicator,” iFixit wrote. “But Apple refuses to make this software available to anyone but themselves and Apple Authorized Service Providers.”
In a statement to Apple-focused news site iMore, Apple confirmed its installation of the battery-checking software, framing it as a safety measure. The company also downplayed the imposition the software places on customers who choose third-party repair firms.
“This information is there to help protect our customers from damaged, poor quality or used batteries which can lead to safety or performance issues,” Apple stated. “This notification does not impact the customer’s ability to use the phone after an unauthorized repair.”
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