Apple's mea culpa after the assault on their battery

Subject: General Tech | December 29, 2017 - 12:22 PM |
Tagged: apple, iphone

After several weeks of pressure from reports and user feedback, Apple have responded with more than just excuses.  Their previous evasions and attempts to explain the degraded performance of old batteries as a way to prevent unexpected shutdowns; which occurred anyways were not well received by iPhone owners and we now have something of a resolution.  Starting in January anyone with an iPhone 6 or later model will only be charged $29 for an out of warranty battery replacement throughout 2018.  The deal ends in 2019, which raises questions about what their plans for the next generation of phones will be; in the meantime this is something you should take advantage of.

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"Apple is reducing the price of an out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 — from $79 to $29 — for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018. Details will be provided soon on apple.com."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

December 29, 2017 | 01:27 PM - Posted by Anonymouse (not verified)

All the stories when this originally broke kept hammering on this was a way to force people to buy new phones. Coming from a repair background my thought was all if the denied warranty claims that have happened. I bet apple saved a bunch in batteries by not having to own up to the warranty.

December 29, 2017 | 07:32 PM - Posted by RealExascale (not verified)

Lol at the idiots who buy Apple.

December 30, 2017 | 03:11 PM - Posted by AcmX (not verified)

Yes because the wonderful Android data mining OS is far superior. What a tool.

January 3, 2018 | 01:11 PM - Posted by Anonymousy (not verified)

It depends. if u r knowledgeable, there are ways to get away from that. but with apple u r fucked. b4 calling others a "Tool", re-evaluate ur self.

December 29, 2017 | 10:21 PM - Posted by Mr.Gold (not verified)

Funny but all my device with rechargeable battery get reduced capacity as the years goes on.

My dell laptop even got a link built in for me to buy a brand new one...

Apple by default decided to keep the phone use time equal over time time reducing clock speed.

If AMD didn't reduce clock speed people would have complain that their talk time went down.

This all seem like a lot about nothing... I'm surprised Apple caved in and gave people a "free" battery . Wished, Dell, HP, Samsung, etc..etc.. did the same.

December 31, 2017 | 10:58 AM - Posted by Me (not verified)

I have many a friend who have complained about iPhone slow downs with updates only to still have random Battey shutdowns at say 30 percent.

A non issue is rather exaggerated.

I see it as a hardware defect that Apple found out early enough but decided this software "fix"was a better option than device recalls.

December 30, 2017 | 05:17 AM - Posted by JohnGR

"Mea Culpa"? Nope.

Apple haven't admitted anything wrongdoing here. They only say that they should have explained what they where doing to their customers. It is, for example, the same as why a processor lowers it's frequency when not used at 100%, to avoid draining the battery needlessly. No one explains how power saving features in a processor work to the public when they buy a new iPhone, but it is good for them. Right? What I understand is that they still say they are doing the correct thing here. I guess they have to, if they want to avoid huge fines.

Apple is slowing down older iPhones and they will keep doing it in the future. And after the end of 2018, people will have to pay the full price for battery replacement. And because the Apple slowdown will probably be written and explained in the smartphone's manual, people wouldn't have the option to complain or sue Apple. They will be forced to go to an Apple store and pay the full price for a new battery.

Apple is slowing down older iPhones on purpose and considering the huge price for a simple battery replacement, in the future people will be replacing their iPhones more often, to avoid that cost. The cost of a new iPhone will suddenly look like $79 lower than before, or $99, or $119 if Apple decides that the battery replacement scam is working great. And it is a scam, in my opinion. Because I don't have an iPhone, never will, but I guess that as every other modern processor out there, it doesn't have only two speeds, 1400MHz and 600MHz. Throwing the processor at it's lowest frequency, it's not just for the battery longevity. It's to make people who have limited or no knowledge about hardware, to upgrade, because their iPhone is "old and can't cope with the new version of iOs and new apps".

Apple is trying to force people upgrade more often and now that this gone public, Apple tries to turn this tricky battery scandal, into a legitimate, high profit, business.

JMO

December 30, 2017 | 11:23 AM - Posted by Drazen (not verified)

Done by purpose to force owners to buy new one.
Normal will be to have an option in settings where this "feature" could be adjusted.
But, its not only Apple. There is absolutely no law about software. Most of software is full of bugs and support is only one year. To fix existing bug - renew!
For example, Bitdefender stops working after one year! Not only updates, but disables itself.

December 30, 2017 | 05:43 PM - Posted by JohnGR

To fix that, JUST NEVER INSTALL AGAIN Bitdefender, if what you are saying is true. And I am not saying "Don't buy", I really mean "Don't INSTALL", because even installing the software and sending them info about your system and what malicious software you encounter, is benefiting them. Just ignore them COMPLETELY. There are plenty of antivirus out there, as good, if not better than Bitdefender.

December 30, 2017 | 12:07 PM - Posted by iPhoneiotsMakeAppleBillions (not verified)

This is what Apple gets for not providing enough up front information to their customers. And I'm 100% sure that it was a marketing driven decision and those folks know little about technology. Folks Apple is nothing more than a retailer that happens to employ a lot of technology employees from its many acquisitions with the P.A. Semiconductor engineers the ones responsible for designing the Apple A series fully custom cores that run the licensed from ARM Holdings ARMv8A ISA.

So whenever you have a retailer and retail marketing involved running any company that's a recipe for stretching the truth and obfuscating many technical details to the consumer. Apple's engineers where told to maximum battery life and that just what they did with that throttling back of CPU/SOC performance in order to get more battery life out of those ageing batteries. Apple makes more money from its software/services closed ecosystem anyways so Apple will forgo any massive markups on those battery replacments and try to up-sale to any customers with the older hardware on getting on the newer phone hardware platform/s.

I'd get the new battery and maybe that will increase the used sales price of the phone if I where too many generations behind on any iPhone hardware and try and get at least some iPhone version with a processor that's not more than 1 generation behind the latest iPhones offered.

This is the result of Apple throwing much too many featuers into its latest iOS version and expecting that the older hardware will be able to perform much like the newer hardware that is of the latest process node with the latest hardware feature sets. Those older phones with their older SOC/s and older DSPs/other Older IP can not handle what the New iOS expects out of a phone's hardware. So Apple will have to replace the batteries on the older model iPhones and that will be the less costly solution compared to any additional tweaking of iOS for older systems. $29 and maybe Apple can live with that cost as that's not bad for a replacment on a device that has to be disassembled to replace the battery.

December 30, 2017 | 12:18 PM - Posted by iPhoneiotsMakeAppleBillions (not verified)

PCPer your ads are messing up the text box functionality on your forum posting system and from time to time none of the text selection functionality is working. So maybe it's Google ad words or some other targeted ad nonsense but it's damn annoying at times when thsoe F-ing ads F--C things up.

More ad blocking feature are scheduled to come online built into browsers and maybe they can dectect the annoying ads that are borking your forum system from time to time but that will lead to some browsers blocking ads on your website!

Maybe your server is infected with some nefarious ad pushing whatever but who knows.

December 31, 2017 | 12:04 AM - Posted by razor512

The problem with Apple's solution to the random reboot or shutdown, is they they used it to mask their planned obsolescence and not truly fix the issue.

Normally when an SOC is resetting due to sudden load changes, it means that the VRM is too far from chip, thus the line losses will cause any default voltage curve to no longer handle a rapid change in power demands. Normally that is fixed by simply increasing the voltages by a tiny amount, or get the best of both worlds and do some LLC.

The issue apple is having, has nothing to do with the max current output of the battery.

You can take a heavily aged smartphone battery, and still get a dead short current output of 40+ watts out of it. I use old smartphone batteries for custom 5 and 10 watt LED flash lights, and at such a load, they barely even get warm.

I feel that when apple was originally designing and setting the power delivery up, they did not take into account how the battery would change over time (even though the companies making the batteries provide them with data sheets which fully characterize the output and internals of the battery over the life of it.

If you take an old heavily used battery for a galaxy S5 and benchmark it, it will get the same CPU score as it would with a brand new battery.

The whole slowing of the CPU is something unique to apple, and I feel that it is they just chose to throttle the performance instead of truly fixing the issues it faces.

January 1, 2018 | 07:53 AM - Posted by WhyMe (not verified)

The slowing down of the CPU is not something unique to apple, what is however is that they did it to a product that was already in the market.

The only reason you and others believe most manufactures don't slow down a devices CPU is because it's done before we get our hands on the device and not afterwards like Apple have done hear.

What Apple have done is basically exceed the specifications of the battery, not the specifications as listed when new but the expected specifications when cycled X amount of times, something they would have been fully aware of when they selected the battery.

Apple could have done what every other manufacture does and reduced the peak current draw by undervolting and/or underclocking the device BEFORE selling them to customers.

January 2, 2018 | 02:05 PM - Posted by razor512

If you have an old smartphone battery that you no longer need, try charging it up, and then put a current clamp around one of the wires, and then short it through a metal rod or something, you will see a peak output high enough to run a modern laptop at full load (though it will only maintain that for a few seconds before the over temp protection kicks in, and such heavy loads will eventually make the battery swell.

The issue is not with the peak current like they claim, as you are dealing with a battery that is still able to deliver an order of magnitude more power than the phone can ever use, even after it has had 500+ cycles put on the battery.

Often times when you get a sudden loss of power, that also happens when when the SOC resets itself. I have had issues like this on my old android tablet, but that was because I was actually undervolting the SOC in an effort to get better battery life, some voltages would cause instability and when too low, you would have issues with sudden loss of power when you try to run something like antutu benchmark, though if you kept the governor at max clock speed, it would be stable.

The same behavior can also be done on a laptop if the bios gives full voltage control within the intel XTU application.

If it is a 6th gen CPU or newer, you will be able to reach a point where a sudden increase in CPU load under windows 10 will cause a sudden loss of power while it will not happen under windows 7, and that is due to changes in the CPU drivers where intel added anew feature that allowed it to exit an idle state and reach the maximum clock speed in significantly less time. In such a case, when undervolted, the CPU would reach a point where it would reset itself, which would cause the entire system to shut off.

Since with DC to DC converters, the ones with high switching frequencies, are often very sensitive to any changes to the source, something as little as a capacitor being slightly too far out of tolerance where it will offer too little capacitance, will lead to instability, even if the source is mains power from a full wave bridge rectifier.

Also with an iphone, you will not get more frequent shutdowns if powering something like a fan or other random device from the lightning port. The overall issue is not with peak current delivery, and is more about something like the ESR of the battery changing slightly, causing a slight change in the output for the VRM supplying the CPU, and instead of compensating for that at the power delivery level, they instead went with a way to allow the issue to remain but the CPU stay in a state where the issue will not cause a reset, since such a solution would also be more profitable.

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