Apple Delays iPhone 6 Plus Battery Replacements Until March-April Due to Limited Supply

iPhone 6 Plus users hoping to take advantage of Apple's discounted $29 battery replacements may have to wait a few months.


Apple says iPhone 6 Plus replacement batteries are in short supply and won't be available until late March to early April in the United States and other regions, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers this week and later obtained by MacRumors.

Apple's internal document quotes a shorter wait of approximately two weeks for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s Plus battery replacements, and adds that batteries for all other models like the iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone SE are expected to be available without extended delays in most countries.

Apple noted that lead times may vary in some regions, including the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Russia, and Turkey.

MacRumors has already received a few emails from readers with an iPhone 6 Plus who were quoted a late March to early April timeframe for the replacement service to be completed at Apple Stores in New York and North Carolina, in line with the information outlined in Apple's document.

A reliable source at an Apple Authorized Service Provider indicated that they recently received a package with dozens of replacement batteries, the majority of which were for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models.

Apple lowered its battery replacement fee to $29 last month for any customer with an iPhone 6 or newer as part of an apology over its lack of transparency about slowing down some older iPhone models to prevent unexpected shutdowns. Apple noted that initial supplies of some batteries may be limited.

As with any supply-demand situation, availability of replacement batteries will likely vary by location. Keep in mind that many Apple Authorized Service Providers like Best Buy, MacMedics, and ComputerCare are able to replace iPhone batteries, so this may be an option worth considering beyond an Apple Store.

Also keep in mind that Apple's discounted rate is available until December 31, 2018, so unless you absolutely need a battery replacement now, you may wish to consider waiting until later in the year to initiate the process.

If you are replacing your iPhone's battery for the first time, the $29 price is available regardless of whether the device passes or fails Apple's battery diagnostic test. To be eligible for any additional replacements at the discounted rate, however, the device must explicitly fail the test or the standard $79 applies.

To get started, read our guide on how to get your iPhone's battery replaced with an appointment at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. There's also a mail-in option, but we've heard that Apple's repair center may only be replacing batteries that fail a diagnostic test, and sending back devices that pass.

Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPhone 7

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French Consumer Fraud Group Investigating Apple for ‘Alleged Deception’ and ‘Planned Obsolescence’

French consumer fraud group DGCCRF, part of the country's economy ministry, last week launched a preliminary investigation into Apple over "alleged deception" and "planned obsolescence" of Apple products, reports Reuters.

The investigation follows Apple's admission that it slows down some older iPhones with degraded batteries during times of peak power usage in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.


Apple introduced the power management feature in iOS 10.2.1 following complaints of unexpected shutdowns in the iPhone 6s, but Apple did not make it clear to consumers that it was due to battery deterioration nor did Apple inform customers that it could cause occasional performance slowdowns.

Apple has since apologized for its lack of communication and introduced a new policy that allows iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, and SE owners to receive a one-time no-questions-asked $29 battery replacement for their devices, as a device with a depleted battery that is affected by throttling will return to normal performance with a battery replacement.

According to Apple, the power management features that prevent unexpected shutdowns by occasionally throttling older iPhones with batteries in bad condition are designed to preserve the life of the iPhone for as long as possible and were not implemented to force upgrades. From Apple:
First and foremost, we have never -- and would never -- do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.
Despite Apple's efforts to correct the issue, in addition to the French inquiry, the company is now facing more than two dozen lawsuits accusing it of intentionally slowing down older iPhones and failing to disclose the changes that it introduced in iOS 10.2.1. One of those lawsuits also stems from France, filed by French consumer group "HOP," which translates to "Stop Planned Obsolescence."

The French watchdog's investigation could take months to complete, and based on the findings, the issue could be escalated to a judge for a more in-depth inquiry or dropped all together.

If Apple is found guilty of planned obsolescence in France, the punishment could be a fine of up to five percent of its annual sales.

Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone SE

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FAQ: What to Know About Apple Slowing Down iPhones to Prevent Unexpected Shutdowns

By now, you've probably seen headlines about Apple slowing down your iPhone, but it's not nearly as simple or corrupt as it sounds. In this Q&A, we've taken the time to explain exactly what's going on.


Why is Apple slowing down some older iPhone models?


iPhones, like many other consumer electronics, are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have a limited lifespan. As the battery in your iPhone ages, its ability to hold a charge slowly diminishes.

A chemically aging battery can also have increased impedance, and begin to lose its ability to provide a sudden burst of power when demanded by other components in an iPhone, such as the CPU and GPU. A battery's impedance will also temporarily increase when it has a low charge and in cold temperatures.

A battery with a high enough impedance may be unable to provide power quickly enough to the iPhone when needed, and Apple safeguards components against the drop in voltage by shutting down the device.

Apple recognized that iPhones unexpectedly shutting down on users is not a good experience, and starting with iOS 10.2.1, it quietly implemented a power management feature to prevent these shutdowns. The update was released in January 2017, and a month later, Apple said it saw a major reduction in shutdowns.

How does Apple's power management feature work?


Apple says it looks at a combination of an iPhone's internal temperature, battery percentage, and battery impedance, and only if a certain criteria is met, iOS will dynamically manage the maximum performance of some system components, such as the CPU and GPU, in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

Does my iPhone have this feature if needed?


Apple said the power management feature applies to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE models running iOS 10.2.1 or any newer software version. The feature was also expanded to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models running iOS 11.2 or any newer software version.

Any older iPhone models are currently not affected, including the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 3G, and the original iPhone, even those some of those models have also experienced shutdowns. The latest iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X are also currently not affected.

How do I know if my iPhone is being slowed down?


There are a few different ways in which you can determine if your iPhone is being slowed down temporarily:

- Benchmark your iPhone: Download the Geekbench 4 app from the App Store and benchmark your iPhone. Each CPU workload models a real-world task or application. If your iPhone has noticeably lower scores compared to the averages, it could be due to Apple's power management feature artificially kicking in.


- Use coconutBattery: Download, install, and open coconutBattery for Mac, connect your iPhone to your Mac with a Lightning to USB cable, and click on the iOS Device tab in the app. Here, you can view your iPhone's battery capacity, which if low suggests your device may be slowed down only when necessary.

- Wait for battery-related iOS update: Early in 2018, Apple has promised to release an iOS update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance. This will likely be the easiest solution.

Will the iPhone 8 and iPhone X eventually be affected?


In a statement issued December 20, Apple said it "plans to add support for other products in the future," and by that definition, the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X could eventually be affected.

In a support article titled iPhone Battery and Performance, published December 28, Apple toned down that language a bit and simply said "we will continue improving our power management feature in the future," so it's unclear if the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X may be eventually affected.

Apple expanded the feature to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models when iOS 11.2 was publicly released in December 2017, nearly one year after implementing the changes in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE when iOS 10.2.1 was publicly released in January 2017.

Is my iPhone slowed down all the time?


Apple is not permanently or persistently slowing down older iPhones. Even if your iPhone is affected, the performance limitations only happen intermittently, when the device is completing demanding tasks.

The power management only occurs in spurts, when needed, and ensures a smoother distribution of system tasks, rather than larger, quick spikes of performance all at once, which was the root cause of shutdowns.

A recent analysis of Geekbench 4 scores for iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 models running iOS 10.2, iOS 10.2.1, and iOS 11.2 visualized an apparent link between lower performance and aging batteries, but this is to be expected since iPhones are artificially pushed to their maximum performance in benchmark tests.

How much is Apple slowing down my iPhone if and when it is?


Apple hasn't specified exactly how much it is slowing down older iPhones when necessary, but in extreme cases, it said users may notice effects such as longer app launch times, lower frame rates while scrolling, and slightly lower speaker volume. Cellular, GPS, and location services are always unaffected.

An excerpt from Apple's iPhone and Battery Performance document:
In some cases, a user may not notice any differences in daily device performance. The level of perceived change depends on how much power management is required for a particular device.

In cases that require more extreme forms of this power management, the user may notice effects such as:

- Longer app launch times
- Lower frame rates while scrolling
- Backlight dimming (which can be overridden in Control Center)
- Lower speaker volume by up to -3dB
- Gradual frame rate reductions in some apps
- During the most extreme cases, the camera flash will be disabled as visible in the camera UI
- Apps refreshing in background may require reloading upon launch

Many key areas are not impacted by this power management feature. Some of these include:

- Cellular call quality and networking throughput performance
- Captured photo and video quality
- GPS performance
- Location accuracy
- Sensors like gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer
- Apple Pay

Is there a way to disable the power management feature on my iPhone?


Not currently. The only way to avoid Apple's power management feature is to avoid installing iOS 10.2.1 or iOS 11.2 depending on which iPhone you have, although many customers have already updated by now, and it is no longer possible to downgrade to software versions earlier than iOS 11.2.

Is Apple purposefully slowing down my older iPhone?


For several years, there has been a conspiracy theory that Apple artificially slows down older iPhone models to incentivize a customer to upgrade to a newer, faster iPhone, and a wealth of misinformation and some sensational reporting about Apple's power management feature has only fueled that fire.

In a letter to customers, Apple said its power management feature is actually designed to extend the life of an older iPhone as much as possible, rather than having the device frustratingly shut down unexpectedly. In other words, Apple's intentions are actually quite the opposite of what some are accusing.

Apple denied any kind of planned obsolescence by flat out stating that it never has and never would do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience, to drive customer upgrades.
We have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades. Our goal has always been to create products that our customers love, and making iPhones last as long as possible is an important part of that.
Whether a customer chooses to believe Apple is his or her choice, but there is no evidence to suggest that Apple's power management feature is designed for any other purpose than to prevent iPhones from unexpectedly shutting down.

Why did Apple apologize then?


Apple apologized because it could have been much more transparent about the power management changes introduced in iOS 10.12.1. The feature was not mentioned in the software update's release notes, and in a statement issued in February 2017, Apple vaguely mentioned "improvements" made to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

From its letter to customers:
We've been hearing feedback from our customers about the way we handle performance for iPhones with older batteries and how we have communicated that process. We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down. We apologize.
Given it didn't fully communicate the changes, some iPhone users with a suddenly slower device may not have realized that they could have simply replaced the battery to regain maximum performance consistently. As a result, some customers may have even unnecessarily purchased a brand new iPhone.

Are other Apple products affected: iPad, Mac, Apple TV?


Apple said the power management feature only applies to select iPhone models listed above. There is currently no evidence to suggest the feature extends to other Apple devices, including any iPad, iPod, Mac, Apple Watch, or Apple TV.

Why is Apple in the headlines now when iOS 10.2.1 was released nearly a year ago?


When iOS 10.2.1 was publicly released, the release notes vaguely mentioned that the software update contained general bug fixes and improvements.

Likewise, when Apple released a statement claiming iOS 10.2.1 had resulted in a significant reduction of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s shutdowns, it still only mentioned "improvements" were made to reduce occurrences of shutdowns.

Apple's statement in February 2017:
With iOS 10.2.1, Apple made improvements to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing with their iPhone. iOS 10.2.1 already has over 50% of active iOS devices upgraded and the diagnostic data we've received from upgraders shows that for this small percentage of users experiencing the issue, we're seeing a more than 80% reduction in iPhone 6s and over 70% reduction on iPhone 6 of devices unexpectedly shutting down.
It wasn't until December 2017, nearly one year after iOS 10.2.1 was released, that Apple revealed the software update includes a power management to "smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed" to prevent older iPhone models from unexpectedly shutting down.

Apple's statement in December 2017:
Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.

Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We've now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.
Apple's admission came a few weeks after a Reddit user claimed his own iPhone 6s' performance significantly increased after replacing the device's battery, which reignited the conspiracy theory about the company intentionally slowing down older iPhone models. Apple didn't help itself by remaining quiet.

What are Apple's next steps?


In its apology letter for its lack of communication, Apple outlined three steps it is taking to address customer concerns and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted the company's intentions.

First, Apple has reduced the price of out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements by $50 (from $79 to $29 in the United States) for any customer with an iPhone 6 or newer. The discount is available worldwide between now and the end of 2018, with prices varying based on local currencies.

Next, early in 2018, Apple has promised to release an iOS update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.

How do I get my iPhone battery replaced?


Depending on your location, you can receive a battery replacement by sending in your iPhone or scheduling a Genius Bar appointment.

To get started, visit the Contact Apple Support page, click on See Your Products, sign in to your Apple ID account, select which iPhone, and click on Battery, Power, and Charging and then Battery Replacement.

After completing the above steps, you should have options available to you to bring in your iPhone to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider, mail the device to an Apple Repair Center, or both.


If you choose to bring it in, you will be prompted to schedule an appointment at a nearby Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. If the store or service center you visit has replacement batteries in stock, the repair could take just a matter of hours, but otherwise it could take up to 3-5 business days.

If you choose to mail it in, you will be asked to fill in your shipping address and billing information to pay for the $29 battery replacement fee, plus shipping costs and local taxes. Shortly after, Apple will send a postage paid box to the address you provide to send your iPhone to an Apple Repair Center.


Apple says the mailed-in battery replacement process takes approximately 5-9 business days, although your mileage may vary. Be prepared to possibly be without your iPhone for awhile if you choose this option.

Does my iPhone battery have to fail a diagnostic test to qualify for a reduced-price battery replacement?


Apple distributed a memo to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors, that states customers with an iPhone 6 or newer can request a $29 replacement battery "regardless of diagnostic result."

If a customer is requesting a free battery replacement under the terms of Apple's limited one-year warranty, however, the battery must fail the diagnostic test, meaning it has lower than 80 percent capacity with fewer than 500 full charge cycles.

I already paid to have my iPhone battery replaced recently. Am I eligible for a partial refund?


Apple distributed a memo to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers, obtained by MacRumors, that states customers may be eligible for a refund if they paid for a battery repair or replacement at a higher price.

In other words, if you paid Apple's standard $79 out-of-warranty fee to replace the battery in your iPhone 6 or newer, you should contact Apple Support or visit an Apple Store to inquire about a partial refund.

We've heard that Apple may only honor refunds for full-price battery replacements initiated after December 14, and there may be other requirements, so your mileage may vary. We recommend contacting Apple Support for more details.

How do I contact Apple Support?


Visit the Contact Apple Support page to reach a specialist by phone, online chat, or email, or to schedule a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store. Apple also operates a support account on Twitter.

Related Roundups: iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone SE

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Apple Makes $29 Battery Replacements Available Immediately for iPhone 6 and Later

Apple today announced it is making its reduced $29 battery replacements available immediately for iPhone 6 and later.


Apple previously said it would offer the cheaper battery replacements in late January, but it has removed that timeframe from its letter to customers, and has confirmed immediate availability in a statement to TechCrunch.
We expected to need more time to be ready, but we are happy to offer our customers the lower pricing right away. Initial supplies of some replacement batteries may be limited.
Apple normally charges $79 for out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacements, but it reduced the price by $50 following a wave of controversy over its process of dynamically managing the peak performance of some older iPhone models with degraded batteries to prevent unexpected shutdowns.

Given a lack of nuance in some mainstream coverage, some headlines have fueled speculation that Apple artificially slows down older iPhones to drive customers to upgrade to newer models, but the actual issue was Apple's lack of transparency about the power management changes it made starting in iOS 10.2.1.

Apple said it will release an iOS update in early 2018 with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone's battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance. It's unclear if Apple will ever let customers opt out of the power management process.

Apple said the cheaper iPhone battery replacements will be available worldwide through December 2018, and it will share more details soon.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone SE

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Geekbench Results Visualize Possible Link Between iPhone Slowdowns and Degraded Batteries

Primate Labs founder John Poole has plotted the kernel density of Geekbench 4 scores for iPhone 6s models running iOS 10.2, iOS 10.2.1, and iOS 11.2, visualizing an apparent link between lower performance and degraded battery health.


The charts show that on iOS 10.2, the vast majority of iPhone 6s devices benchmarked similarly in performance. However, Poole explains that the distribution of iPhone 6s scores for iOS 10.2.1 appears multimodal, with one large peak around the average and several smaller peaks around lower scores.

In other words, after iOS 10.2.1 was released last January, the performance of a percentage of iPhone 6s devices began to suffer.


In a statement, Apple said it made improvements in iOS 10.2.1 to reduce occurrences of unexpected iPhone shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing. The shutdowns were reportedly caused by uneven power delivery from older batteries, which could cause an emergency shutdown of the devices.

While at least one report suggested that Apple tweaked its power management system in iPhone 6s devices, the company never disclosed what specific improvements it made to reduce the unexpected shutdowns.

A recent Reddit discussion, however, has reignited speculation that Apple is intentionally slowing down older iPhones to maximize power efficiency and stability when battery capacity has degraded, and reduce voltage-related shutdowns, and the Geekbench charts and Poole himself lend credit to that theory being true.

"The difference between iOS 10.2 and 10.2.1 is too abrupt to be just a function of battery condition," he said. "I believe … that Apple introduced a change to limit performance when battery condition decreases past a certain point."

The charts show that the number of iPhone 6s devices with lower Geekbench scores was even more pronounced on iOS 11.2, which is likely because the software update is around one year newer, which means that the battery capacity of many iPhone 6s devices has likely continued to deplete as expected.


Interestingly, even the iPhone 7 may be starting to be affected. While the distribution of Geekbench scores for the device on iOS 10.2, iOS 10.2.1, and iOS 11.1.2 appear identical, the results change with iOS 11.2 and start to resemble the iPhone 6s' degraded performance starting on iOS 10.2.1.

What this all means is that Apple may be intentionally slowing down older iPhones to maximize power efficiency and stability when battery capacity has degraded, as speculated, seemingly without publicly acknowledging so.

However, it's important to remember that all lithium-ion batteries naturally lose some of their ability to hold a charge over the course of a few years. Given the iPhone 6s was released in September 2015, the device has been available long enough that some users should consider replacing their battery regardless.

Apple charges an out-of-warranty fee of $79 to replace the battery of all eligible iPhone models in the United States. iPhone 6s users can contact AppleCare or schedule a Genius Bar appointment at a local Apple Store using the Apple Support app.

Apple did not immediately respond to our request for comment about the Geekbench findings. We'll update this article if we hear back.

Buyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Buy Now)

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Apple’s Alleged Throttling of Older iPhones With Degraded Batteries Causes Controversy

A Reddit post has drawn a flurry of interest after an iPhone 6s owner reported that a battery replacement significantly increased the device's performance running iOS 11. The ensuing discussion thread, also picked up by readers in the MacRumors forum, has led to speculation that Apple intentionally slows down older phones to retain a full day's charge if the battery has degraded over time.

According to TeckFire, the author of the original Reddit post, their iPhone had been very slow after updating to iOS 11, especially compared to their brother's iPhone 6 Plus, so they decided to do some research with GeekBench and battery life apps, and ended up replacing the battery.

Geekbench scores for same iPhone 6s before and after battery drain
Wear level was somewhere around 20% on my old battery. I did a Geekbench score, and found I was getting 1466 Single and 2512 Multi. This did not change wether I had low power mode on or off. After changing my battery, I did another test to check if it was just a placebo. Nope. 2526 Single and 4456 Multi. From what I can tell, Apple slows down phones when their battery gets too low, so you can still have a full days charge.
Just over a year ago, Apple launched a repair program for iPhone 6s owners after some users reported their devices were unexpectedly shutting down. Apple said the problem was down to a manufacturing issue affecting a "very small" number of iPhone 6s devices, and offered battery replacements free of charge to owners of devices within a limited serial number range.

Around two months later, Apple released iOS 10.2.1 and said the update resulted in an 80 percent reduction in unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6s and a 70 percent reduction on iPhone 6 devices. However, Apple explained this was about fixing a more widely reported issue caused by uneven power delivery from older batteries, and claimed it was separate from the manufacturing fault that had caused it to recall a select number of iPhone 6s devices.

This weekend's Reddit thread – running to over 500 comments as of writing – appears to have kicked off a wave of speculation about whether the two shutdown issues are in fact related, and that Apple's fix involves dynamically throttling the phone's maximum clock speed relative to the battery output voltage, to prevent them from drawing too much power and shutting down.

Reports that the performance of iPhone 6 series models can be improved by replacing the battery aren't entirely new, but the suggestion that Apple is intentionally throttling the performance of older devices, for whatever reason, is bound to cause controversy. We've contact Apple for comment or clarification. In the meantime, users interested in checking their phone's performance are also using the free CpuDasherX app to compare running clock speeds. Let us know your findings in the comments below. Lastly, it's worth noting that DIY iPhone battery replacements or repairs performed by a third party will void any Apple warranty still covering said devices.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
Buyer's Guide: iPhone 8 (Buy Now)

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