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Apple responds to aftermarket iPhone replacement battery health warning

Apple's 'Service' battery message in the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max Battery Health bar following a battery replacement outside of Apple's authorized repair network is doing its job, Apple has confirmed, with the warning a safety measure for users that doesn't affect how the installed battery functions at all.

Apple's new

Apple's new "Service" battery message. | Source: iFixit


Reports in early August revealed the existence of a "Service" message in the iPhone's Battery Health section of the iOS Settings app. The notification appears in instances when the battery has been replaced by an alternate component, and will display if the replacement was installed by a third-party firm not authorized by Apple to perform repairs, even if it is a genuine component.

The battery notification only applies to Battery Health for the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max, when the handset is put through a battery repair via an unauthorized repair shop.

In a statement provided to AppleInsider, Apple insisted "We take the safety of our customers very seriously, and want to make sure any battery replacement is done properly." Apple points out it has over 1,800 Apple authorized service providers across the United States, so there is ample opportunity for customers to go through an official repair process with genuine parts.

"Last year we introduced a new feature to notify customers if we were unable to verify that the battery was genuine and installed by a certified technician following Apple repair processes," referencing the Service message. The notification is there to help protect customers from "damaged, poor quality, or used batteries which can lead to safety or performance issues," which could be the case for components from third-party battery firms outside the Apple supply chain.

Apple also advises the message's appearance does not affect the ability to use the iPhone at all, even after an unauthorized repair.

Testing by iFixit found the message appeared even if the component installed into the iPhone was a genuine Apple battery, indicating it requires an Apple Genius or Apple Authorized Service Provider for the message to work on the iPhone to remove the message.

Unverified batteries are not able to be monitored by the Battery Health function, with maximum capacity and peak performance capacity metrics also not registering on the device.

Battery Health was introduced following the discovery Apple artificially throttled the CPU performance of iPhones with degraded batteries, in an attempt to prevent them from unexpectedly shutting down. Battery Health gave consumers a way to see if their battery was running poorly, and if it was in need of replacement.

For a period of time, Apple also started a battery replacement program that reduced the cost of out-of-warranty battery replacements from $79 to $29. The program was popular, with 11 million batteries replaced in 2018, nine times the usual number.

The full statement reads:
"We take the safety of our customers very seriously and want to make sure any battery replacement is done properly. There are now over 1,800 Apple authorized service providers across the US so our customers have even more convenient access to quality repairs.
Last year we introduced a new feature to notify customers if we were unable to verify that the battery was genuine and 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.
This notification does not impact the customer's ability to use the phone after an unauthorized repair."