Apple Store workers are getting frustrated with the rampant iPhone battery flaw – Business Insider


Apple Store Employee
An Apple Store
employee.

AP

A serious bug (or two) is causing iPhone batteries to
malfunction, and Apple Stores are inundated with customer
complaints, employees tell Business Insider.

Over the past few weeks, complaints that something is causing
iPhones to suddenly shut off with 30% battery have been mounting.

In a statement posted to its Chinese website on Friday,
Apple restated
that the issue is with hardware, and that it
affects only certain iPhone 6S devices. iPhones with qualifying
serial numbers can be brought into an Apple Store for a free
battery swap.

But technicians and Apple Store employees have told Business
Insider that the issue is very common, and that it seems to
affect more models than just the 6S.

Apple has declined to comment several times when asked by
Business Insider about whether the issue may affect other
devices.

Complaints at Apple Stores are rising


Apple StoreTomohiro Ohsumi/Getty

Apple Stores are seeing large numbers of complaints from
customers concerned about why their devices are malfunctioning,
several store employees have told Business Insider.

An Apple Store Genius employee in Manhattan said that 80% of its
cases are currently a result of the bug. It appears to be
affecting more iPhone models than the 6S, the employee said.

“We have been seeing a lot of customers for this particular
issue, and I have personally dealt with the issue on not just the
6S, but the 6S Plus, which is not part of the program,” said an
Apple Store manager in another part of the US. “I’ve also seen
the issue a lot for batteries outside of the manufacturing date.”

Another US-based Genius said his store had placed 80 part orders
for batteries after the replacement program was introduced, and
that there weren’t enough batteries on hand when Apple announced
the program. “It really hasn’t been that bad, to be honest,” he
told Business Insider.


iphone battery
Lifehacker

A different Apple Store employee in the US told Business Insider
that they don’t believe the reports of battery failures are
related to iOS, but rather the failure is caused by a
hardware problem, as Apple has stated. But even though the
batteries shut down when they get to about 30% charge, Apple’s
battery diagnostics tool still says they are healthy, this
employee said.

The employee also said they were getting several returns because
of the battery issue but had no guidance from Apple on how to fix
the problem until recently, so they ended up replacing phones
instead of just the batteries, in most cases.

Another longtime Apple Store employee said customers frequently
complain about battery issues after installing beta software or
failing to install the newest version of iOS. “A lot of times
it’s older phones with consumed batteries or really old
software,” the person said.

One person who went to get their iPhone 6S fixed at an authorized
Apple service provider in London said they were told the shop had
a huge backlog of phones to fix and couldn’t even provide a date
for when it might be able to fix theirs.

Two bugs


Apple Store redApple

There is some debate about the cause of the problem. Apple says

it’s related to
“a battery component that was exposed to
controlled ambient air longer than it should have been.”

But some have pointed to a recent iOS 10.1 update that was pushed
to people’s iPhones. People with the problem — including several
Business Insider staff members whose phones are not covered by
the replacement program — are seeing their batteries
drain abnormally fast
and switch off around the 30% charge
mark.

A Chinese government watchdog group is
also claiming
the 6S hardware issue is affecting other
devices, including the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and 6S Plus.

For now,
it’s unclear what the relationship
is between the hardware
issue and the iOS issue.

Apple is replacing batteries in affected 6S devices free of
charge, but it isn’t talking about an apparent 10.1 bug. An Apple
spokesperson declined Business Insider’s repeated requests for
comment on the 10.1 bug.

If you’re having the issue, you can check
if your device is covered
under Apple’s current replacement
program, and if it is, you can have your battery swapped at an
Apple Store.

If Apple says your phone is not eligible for a battery
replacement but you are seeing the random shutdown bug, email
kleswing@businessinsider.com.

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