Apple disabling battery health monitoring following third party repairs

What you need to know

  • Apple software reportedly turning off battery health monitoring following third-party repairs.
  • The software will show a "service" message even on brand new batteries.
  • Work-around required Apple repair or more complicated third party chipset swap.

August 14, 2019: Apple statement

Apple sent us the following statement:

"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 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. This notification does not impact the customer's ability to use the phone after an unauthorized repair."

According to a report from iFixit, Apple is disabling access to battery health data when battery replacements aren't performed by Apple or an authorized dealer.

Apparently, when a brand new battery is swapped for one that has degraded, Apple's software will show a "service" message in the settings. The message appears even when a genuine Apple battery is used.

It's not a bug; it's a feature Apple wants. Unless an Apple Genius or an Apple Authorized Service Provider authenticates a battery to the phone, that phone will never show its battery health and always report a vague, ominous problem.

iFixit's report verifies an earlier claim from The Art of Repair, who said the message currently shows up in iOS 12 and iOS 13 on iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max.

While Apple is seemingly blocking access to battery health information, your battery replacement will work; iFixit said it confirmed performance isn't throttled. You just won't be able to see when it's time to replace your new battery.

"You bought it, you own it, you should be able to fix it," iFixit writes. "It's that simple. Pairing batteries to iPhones is a gross overreach. It's yet another instance of purchasing a product, and not being able to fully utilize it—like leasing a car, except you're paying full price for it."

Brandon Russell