Apple is apparently activating a "dormant software lock" that essentially prevents third-party replacement batteries on some newer iPhone models, according to a recent report from iFixit published Wednesday.
This software lock works by disabling access to battery health data unless the replacement was installed by Apple itself or an authorized service provider.
Per iFixit, this appears to be an intentional feature in which replacement batteries without a Texas Instruments microcontroller with a unique Apple authentication key are locked out of providing certain battery health data to users. That includes cycle count, which shows how much a battery may have degraded overtime, in addition to max capacity and peak performance capability. Users are instead shown a "Service" indicator, hinting that they will need to take their phone to an Apple Genius Bar or an Apple-authorized repair service.
Even Apple Batteries Won't Work
Even using another Apple battery doesn't work, adds iFixit, as a replacement battery can only be authenticated using the company's private tools. Which is to say Apple is locking batteries at the factory stage, so when a user attempts to replace it, regardless if that battery comes from Apple directly, it will still show the "Service" indicator.
What's The Solution?
The only way to get around this is, of course, paying Apple to perform the battery replacement itself. Presumably, Apple's internal tools can undo the "Service" indicator, but the company refuses to make this software available to anyone else but authorized service providers.
To better understand this limitation, iFixit offered an analogy: putting a non-authorized battery on an iPhone is akin to having a "Check Oil" light in a vehicle that can only be activated at a certain automotive center.
According to the report, the software locks appears to have been introduced to the following models: iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max running the latest version of iOS 12 or the beta version of iOS 13.
Oddly, back in March, reports suggested that Apple was trying to change its repair policies to allow authorized service centers to fix iPhone that have had third-party batteries installed. This new development must feel like a total reversal of those early alleged efforts. Apple has yet to comment on the matter. Make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more.
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