Apple Working with Consumer Reports to “Understand” Their MacBook Pro Battery Tests


After Consumer Reports released a scathing report on the battery life of the 2016 MacBook Pro, Apple VP Phil Schiller has taken to Twitter to explain the company is now working with the review company “to understand their battery tests.”

Screenshot 2016 12 23 17 04 55

Consumer Reports said battery life on the 2016 MacBook Pro was “very inconsistent”, with results ranging from 4 to 19.5 hours depending on model. Consumer Reports said their use of Chrome saw improved battery life over Safari.

Many other tech reviewers, such as Walt Mossberg, similarly concluded he could not recommend the latest MacBook Pro over battery life concerns.

The Verge also saw inconsistent battery life, so much so they received a second review unit from Apple and experienced similar results.

Schiller said “results do not match our extensive lab tests or field data.” The Apple VP linked to Rene Ritchie at iMore, who dismissed the credibility of Consumer Reports, to say:

These days, if I’m interested in battery life tests, I go to AnandTech or Ars Technica, where they show their work, explain their methods, and often take whatever time is required to get real answers before hitting publish. Same for other areas. I look to the experts who don’t settle for confusion but demand clarity.

If there is something wrong with the MacBook Pro battery, then I want to know about it. Just saying you got inconsistent results is as valuable as telling me it takes 1, 4, or 12 hours to cook a turkey – not at all. I can get food poisoning or burn a bird on my own, thanks.

Regardless of how Consumer Reports did their tests, the bottom line is we are also experiencing horrible battery life on our 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. We were getting about 4 hours at first, but after installing macOS Sierra 10.12.2, that improved battery times to under 5 hours.

Schiller’s response on Twitter contrasts what Apple told Consumer Reports when the latter reached out, which was “any customer who has a question about their Mac or its operation should contact AppleCare.”

The bottom line? Something isn’t right, whether it’s hardware or software, because there’s no way I can match Apple’s 10 hours of battery life, even if I was simulating their tests.

How’s your battery life on your 2016 MacBook Pro with or without Touch Bar?


  • cbro

    I’m getting 9-12h with my 15″ macbook pro (2016, base model).
    No issues with poor battery life for me.
    Installed office, chrome (but mostly use safari), google drive. I don’t use photos.

  • I’ve heard bad battery reports from pretty much everyone, and heard no praise for good batter from anyone.

    Sad to say, I think Apple is just trying to defend their poor battery life with sweet talking at this point.

  • Lakh Jhajj

    Apple made battery life too thin for the 2016 MacBooks…

  • Olley

    Seriously, when average Joe whines about poor battery performance, Apple sends update and takes away display minutes. When well-known establishment does the same, Apple sends Phil Schiller to fix it.

  • MleB1

    Whether or not you agree with the methodology of CR tests – and the fact they did not fine grain of sand them to figure out “Why?” they got the results they did – the fact is that, running a fairly lightweight test that might marginally test graphics and processor (and certainly nothing that should be a challenge for a device with the ‘Pro’ moniker), there was inconsistency in the Apple products they had.

    John and Janet Q. Public, professional computer users buying an expensive device in order to do their CAD, video and audio editing or graphic design work need to know their new MacBooks aren’t going to just crap out on them when relying on battery (especially now that Apple stripped out ‘time remaining’ from the toolbar), while working on a project. And they don’t care why it happens – nor do they necessarily have the benefit of swapping it out with another one to see if that unit is faulty, especially when Apple is busy denying it’s an issue (or Macolytes are busy justifying the failures at Apple are the testers or users fault) – they just want the thing to work consistently.

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

  • KS

    Consumer Reports could have just performed their tests without the timer. Duh!

  • bspence88

    Mine seems to last around 6 hours of normal use… it’s consistent though. I wish I got 16 hrs out of a charge haha

  • Bob

    Haha! Lol