Apple Locking Down iPhone Battery Replacements to Deter Third-Party Repairs: iFixit

Apple really, really doesn’t want you replacing your own iPhone battery.

According to a new report from iFixit, Apple has activated what is being described as a “dormant software lock” in the latest version of iOS in order to discourage battery servicing that is performed using aftermarket parts or repairs.

In other words, what the Cupertino-based tech giant is willing to obtain is full control over your battery, as it would only allow battery repairs to be performed in its shops or authorized service centers and only using genuine Apple batteries.

While the move doesn’t necessarily stop users from taking a brand new battery and dropping it into their device, the Settings app in iOS 12 and 13 will display a “Service” status for it, which is typically indicative that the battery is worn out and needs to be replaced.

Installing a battery from another iPhone appears to have the same result — no access to any battery health information and messages that your battery couldn’t be verified as “genuine”. This has led iFixit to speculate that Apple may have intentionally designed this as a way of showing the middle finger to independent repair shops.

The good news is that, aside from the “Service “message, battery life or the phone’s operation isn’t impaired in any way (though there’s no telling on whether this could change in the future).

The bad news is that this is simply a petty thing to do — akin to have your car display a warning message immediately after you go to a third-party repair shop for a fix.

iFixit calls Apple’s behaviour a “user-hostile choice,” and points to “right to repair” legislation as a solution that would force companies like Apple to give users more say over where and how they can repair the devices they bought and own.