Apple has recently updated its battery warnings on the iPhone to treat third-party and used batteries more harshly, hoping to discourage people from heading to third-party phone repair stores and getting their battery fix, rather than an Apple Store.
That has caused concern among "right to repair" people, or users who think they should be able to get their smartphones repaired wherever they want without suffering any consequences – allowing them to shop for deals or find repair discounts.
But Apple has a few good reasons for imposing new penalties, as annoying as they may seem, because third-party batteries are becoming more of an issue these days. Continue reading to learn 6 things you need to know about the battery debacle.
Apple's Battery Warnings Limit Features
Apple's changes to iOS will trigger a warning when the phone detects any battery other than a new, authentic iPhone battery installed by an authorized source. In the battery settings page, it will tell users that Apple is "unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine iPhone battery."
If that were all, people probably wouldn't have a problem with it, but Apple also blocks the battery app from showing information about the battery's health. Typically this page can display data on the battery's charge, overall battery health, and when a battery may need to be replaced. With a third-party battery, none of that works.
Apple's reasoning on this is straightforward. It doesn't want the app to provide incorrect information about the battery, and it can't guarantee that readings are accurate unless the system is dealing with a genuine iPhone battery.
Warnings Apply to Legit iPhone Batteries, Too
Yup, this isn't just about third-party and knockoff batteries. If you take a totally authentic battery, professionally installed on one iPhone, and put it in another iPhone of the same model, Apple's countermeasures will still kick in.
That's a significant blow to anyone who may be selling "refurbished" iPhone batteries or similar products. Again, Apple wants to make entirely sure that its battery readings are accurate, and that nobody has tampered with the battery.
Switching out a used iPhone battery, even if it's precisely the right kind, still won't guarantee it'll work as expected.
Fake Batteries Are Becoming a Big Problem
One of the biggest reasons that Apple is cracking down on third-party batteries and all related, unauthorized battery repair is that fake batteries have become an epidemic for electronics users, and iPhones are no exception. More and more manufacturers are trying to make fake "replica" iPhone batteries and flood the market with them to make a quick buck. While some users buy these batteries online, a frequent target for these replicas are third-party repair services looking for a good deal on iPhone batteries.
In other words, Apple needs to guarantee the battery supply line from creation to installation on your iPhone to make sure that these ubiquitous replicas aren't involved. If they are involved, Apple wants to make it clear that it doesn't support them and will not enable those battery functions.
Unauthorized Batteries Can Be Dangerous
These batteries are also a serious safety issue! Replica batteries are sold for cheap because they are cheaply and shoddily made, and this introduces a lot of potential problems. A poorly made lithium-ion battery can overheat, catch on fire, and explode. It's happened before, and it's a danger to your data, your body, and your surroundings, depending on how bad the fire is.
Apple definitely wants to avoid any chances of this happening (especially with the Samsung debacle of exploding batteries), and it doesn't want any liability for potential lawsuits. Also, it's trying to keep iPhone users safe.
Unauthorized Batteries Won't Last As Long
If warnings about meltdowns and fires aren't enough, keep in mind that replica and used batteries won't last nearly as long as a new iPhone battery. They can decay quickly and may encounter more power problems that lead to iPhone crashes. While some users may be attracted to third party services because they can get batteries replaced for much cheaper, the shortened battery lifespan negates this benefit, giving people another reason to think twice.
It's Easier Than Ever to Get Authorized iPhone Battery Service
If you're having battery problems, you can take your iPhone to any Apple Store (or even Best Buy) and ask about authorized service. They will help you get a new battery or otherwise fix your problem without any of the risks of going to a third-party supplier. If you're curious about repair times and waiting, call your local store and ask! Turn around time can range from a few hours to just a few days.
Oh, and if you'd like to preserve your battery for as long as possible, it may be a good idea to cut back using your wireless charger so much (unless it has a fan). Be sure to follow these battery saving tips as well.