Scary iPhone battery warning is to 'protect' customers, says Apple

Apple explains why iOS displays a warning following unauthorized battery replacements.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Apple has responded to criticisms over the menacing "Service" warning that is displayed in iOS following a third-party battery replacement by claiming that the move is designed to improve safety.  

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In a statement to The Verge, Apple said:

Last year we introduced a new feature to notify customers if we were unable to verify that a new, genuine battery was installed by a certified technician following Apple repair processes. This information is there to help protect our customers from damaged, poor quality, or used batteries which can lead to safety or performance issues.

Apple went on to point out that the "notification does not impact the customer's ability to use the phone after an unauthorized repair."

Apple claims that, with "over 1,800 Apple authorized service providers across the US," iPhone owners "have even more convenient access to quality repairs."

Apple is using a secure memory key built into the battery to lock the battery to the iPhones at the factory. The side effect of this is that if you replace the battery yourself, or get a third-party, that does not have the tools to pair the battery with the hardware to do the job, the Battery and Battery Health screens in Settings will display a "Service" message.

This happens even if the replacement battery is a genuine Apple part.

It appears that the only way around this issue will be to have Apple, or an Apple Authorized Service Provider, carry out the battery replacement.

This warning applies to the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max running iOS 12 and the beta releases of iOS 13.

This is quite a predictable response. It was the reason I suggested when this issue surfaced last week. Since this issue doesn't affect battery performance at all, I'm calling this a bit of a storm in a teacup.

Do you think Apple has a valid reason to activate this software lock on the iPhone's battery, or is it another example of anti-consumer behavior?

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