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Apple is software locking iPhone batteries to discourage third-party repairs

Apple is software locking iPhone batteries to discourage third-party repairs

Surely this is a troll move by Apple APPLE AIN’T A FAN of other people sticking their fingers into its tech, which is probably why it’s activated software locks on iPhone batteries to keep third-party repair folks at bay. According to serial gadget fiddlers iFixit, Apple has activated a “dormant software lock” that basically pulls

Apple is software locking iPhone batteries to discourage third-party repairs

Surely this is a troll move by Apple

APPLE AIN’T A FAN of other people sticking their fingers into its tech, which is probably why it’s activated software locks on iPhone batteries to keep third-party repair folks at bay.

According to serial gadget fiddlers iFixit, Apple has activated a “dormant software lock” that basically pulls the rug out of non-official battery repairs on newer iPhone models by disabling access to battery health data. Access is only granted to replacement batteries that have been popped in by Apple or authorised service providers.

This dick move is apparently down to the fact that only batteries with a microcontroller from Texas Instruments hold the unique authentication key Apple uses for providing iPhone battery health data to users.

However, the fiddlers at iFixit found that even if someone replaced their iPhone battery with one from another iPhone, they’d be greeted by a message in the Battery Health that simply declares ‘Service’, rather than reveal battery data such as how much the pack may have degraded and what it’s maximum capacity is.

The only way past this is to get a so-called Apple Genius at an Apple store or an Apple-approved bod from an authorised Apple repair service to do some wizardry – presumably through a software tool – to authenticate the battery to the phone so that battery health data is shown. Oh, and to get that done you have to cough up some cash to Apple for the privilege, though it’s worth noting that after Apple got slammed for throttling performance in older iPhones, it has since reduced the price of battery replacements.

If you have the right skills, you can according to iFixit, remove the microcontroller from a borked battery and solder it on to a new one, but that’s likely to take some technical nous beyond the average Apple iThingy user.

Apple has yet to comment on this battery blocking, but we expect if and when it does comment it’ll blabber something about wanting to deliver the best possible service to folks who probably have an alter made out iPad Nanos to Steve ‘Just Works’ Jobs.

Our cynical side would make us think this is yet another way for Apple to make money, but given it has enough cash to probably buy a small country, we’re not sure why it would take this dogmatic stance on batteries unless it just likes to troll people. µ

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