back to article Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery

Apple has started a free battery replacement scheme for fanbois whose iPhone 5s were cursed with premature power drainage. All concerned customers need do is log onto this page, where they can enter the serial number of their mobe. Cupertino insisted that only a few unlucky folk were affected. "Apple has determined that a very …

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Stop

I watched a woman in the airport in Puerto Rico. She plugged her iPhone into the communal charging post surrounded by several other white cords. I noticed her screen never turned off and she came back every 5-6 minutes to check her texts and type responses. I heard her mutter to her boyfriend about how the phone was not charging "properly".

If your phone is smarter than you, you shouldn't be allowed to have it.

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Still at least she had more brains than "turn off all services" suggestions i.e. turn it into a £10 dumb phone.

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@Lost all faith...

Some things, like Bluetooth, can be turned off without affecting a large proportion of users. Naturally it turns itself on again with every software update. I half-wonder whether it's the desire to persuade somebody, somewhere that iBeacons are a good idea: the better the stats for people walking around with Bluetooth on, the more relevant they sound, right? They're otherwise about as popular as Ping.

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Re: @Lost all faith...

You can't just place a power widget on the screen showing the gps/bluetooth/wifi state?

Oh that's right, iPhones don't have widgets...

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Re: @Lost all faith...

Bluetooth is probably enabled by default after each iPhone upgrade because it (Bluetooth LE) consumes very little power indeed. I never turn it off because it hardly affects power consumption, and when it is on it can be very useful, e.g. for tethering to another device.

Likewise for GPS. Which is a means to an end. Some people without a life might like to know the position and strength of GPS satellites, but others just prefer that their phone knows roughly where it is.

Why would I need to add a bluetooth or WiFi state widget to the screen when they are already there by default? And can be activated/deactivated by a simple swipe up from the bottom of the screen?

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Re: @Lost all faith... (@Gene Cash; @Mike Bell)

@Gene Cash: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to see the view that allows you to control Bluetooth and Wifi state (and aeroplane mode, screen brightness and a bunch of other things that aren't directly relevant to battery life).

As it isn't called a 'widget' that obviously means that the iPhone is some sort of failure as a device.

@Mike Bell: the really annoying thing is that if you have Wifi switched off then every location-aware program will show a modal pop-up insisting that it isn't going to be able to do a very good job because it has only GPS to use. Every time you launch them. But that's an interface failing, not a battery-life issue.

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Re: @Lost all faith... (@Gene Cash; @Mike Bell)

BT LE may use little power, but I always turn it off because I don't use it, and leaving something I don't use on is pointless. If iBeacon becomes useful or I bought a BT headset or something, then I'd leave it on.

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Devil

Re: @Lost all faith... (@Gene Cash; @Mike Bell)

I never use Bluetooth. Why would I leave an obvious backdoor for hackers running?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Lost all faith...

All about the money.

The holy grail is ad income. TO stop the iPhone becoming irrelevant the commodity item will eventually have to join the real world and be sold at a commodity price.

iBeacon mean iAds and iSpam. It is where the long term money will be so leave it on and think of the Apple shareholders.

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WTF?

Re: @Lost all faith...

Oh that's right, iPhones don't have widgets..

Sure, they do.

They were implemented in iOS 5 and are accessible from the notification centre. You had access to stocks, weather, song details and playback controls, upcoming appointments and the ability to post to facebook or twitter. All of which were a quick glance away and showed a useful piece of information with no need to actually open the app in question (the definition of a "widget" right?).

In all fairness, there wasn't a lot of choice (although most of my Android owning friends only used the weather, music or clock widgets - all of which were represented in iOS), they couldn't be developed by anyone else apart from Apple (changing in iOS 8) and iOS 7 changed things around quite a bit.

However, they were there.

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Re: @Lost all faith...

These are the widgets on my phone.

Google Keep. Very convenient as a widget.

Google Play Music. When I start playing it, it also goes on my lockscreen and notification shade.

Google Now.

Weather and Calendar. When I click on the time, it opens the timer/stopwatch app. When I click on the weather, it opens the detailed weather for the next 7 days

Time widget for the UK office.

Google Search widget

Agenda widget which shows me appointments for the month. With an option to add meetings and to go to settings to change it's look and behavior.

Direct dial widgets for my wife and kids and friends.

Direct contact widgets so I can select the mode of communication (phone, email, text)

So no. iOS doesn't have widgets. And iOS 8 will not have widgets either. After not having a notification shade for many versions, now everything has been shoved down into one area. Simply because they don't want to admit that they are copying yet another feature from Android.

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surely just pop the back off and change the battery for a new one.....

oh, wait....

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Re: surely just pop the back off and change the battery for a new one.....

haha! i got a thumbs down for that! fanbois....you never cease to amaze me!

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Joke

Re: surely just pop the back off and change the battery for a new one.....

Because you just pop the front off...

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Re: surely just pop the back off and change the battery for a new one.....

not on my phone...

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Re: surely just pop the back off and change the battery for a new one.....

The difference being that iPhone batteries are warranted. Whereas your cheap Chinese knock-off battery won't be.

I used to have a crappy phone that I could split in two by hand for the joy of sticking bits in it. I don't care for that kind of nonsense any more.

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Re: surely just pop the back off and change the battery for a new one.....

err...no, my genuine samsung battery which is about 20 quid works perfectly thanks. only takes appx 20 seconds to change it. best thing about it is, i dont need to unscrew anything or melt glue.

same applies if it gets wet, unlike my girlfriends work iphone which recently got dribbled on. its fucked now. had to leave it on whilst the battery discharged causing fuck knows how much extra damage. its a brick now. still, its a piece of shit anyway, best thing thats happened to it. shes now using my note 2 and is quite excited about how much extra screen real estate she has.

plus, i can give her 64gb of extra storage for about 20 quid - i just pop the back off and plug it in! imagine that!

still, stick with the iphone if you must.

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Re: surely just pop the back off and change the battery for a new one.....

oh, i missed that....iphone batteries are warrantied....yeah, thats great. as long as they admit theres a fault....but, oh, wait...

how do you change them? oh ...wait....

look - these are phones. no one gives a shit. its the undeviating "apple is great!" "apple is great!" "they can do no wrong" attitude that is soooo boring. they do wrong, and actually, their kit is DELIBERATELY very difficult to fix or upgrade. same with their laptops. i had to change the hard disk on an imac, i had to take the fucking screen off, the motherboard out, took me about an hour all done. i run a repair shop, i do this all the time. i charge extra for macs, they are just so badly designed for FIXING>

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Re: surely just pop the back off and change the battery for a new one.....

@psychonaut

Oh do quit whining. You have your opinion; I have mine.

I get it. You're the kind of person who enjoys tinkering with things. Get yourself a Meccano DIY smartphone for your ultimate enjoyment. Be my guest. Meanwhile, the world seems to struggle by with the most popular phone effectively being a sealed unit. A unit that is warranted in its entirety. There are definite pros in having sealed memory, tamper-proof enclaves etc. but they don't appeal to the tinkerer's mindset, or the kind of person who enjoys 'fixing' things. Again, fine. I could fix the clutch on my car if I wanted to, but I've got better things to do with my time, and I'll take my car somewhere where they have the proper equipment to do the job.

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Devil

Re: surely just pop the back off and change the battery for a new one.....

"I'll take my car somewhere where they have the proper equipment to do the job."

That's the problem. Nobody has the proper equipment, because Apple deliberately designs it's stuff not to be repairable. Except by apple itself, which means Apple is just another monopolist waiting to be lined up against the wall. Give me open standards every day.

Oh, and the old swap-out/swap-in only works if you don't have anything on the phone that you wanted to keep. With modern phones, it's a dogs breakfast trying to put all that stuff onto the new phone. Tried it several times.

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Re: surely just pop the back off and change the battery for a new one.....

"[...]but they don't appeal to the tinkerer's mindset, or the kind of person who enjoys 'fixing' things. Again, fine. I could fix the clutch on my car if I wanted to[...]"

Except the clutch is more equivalent to a button, which is never easily user-replacable, and indeed does not need to be. A closer equivalent to a phone battery in a car would be... yep, you guessed it.

Also

"[...]but I've got better things to do with my time,[...]"

If you need to spend more time changing a phone or car battery in a swap-in swap-out design than writing this post, the problem is you, not the design.

User-serviceability of critical components is simply good usability. Honestly, it pisses me of when someone parrots the corp-line propaganda about "tinkering", especially in the context of Apple - whose big thing is supposedly user friendliness.

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@ Mike Bell "A unit that is warranted in its entirety"

Actually all consumer purchases are "warranted" in the UK for up to six years under the Sale of Goods Act 1979, depending on how much you paid for it and thus what would in theory be just for a small claims judge to hold "reasonable durability" requires. Apple's gratuitous warranty and ridiculous Applecare is on top of that much more weighty obligation which you've already paid for, and it replicates it and (in the case of Applecare) charges you twice for it.

A term purporting to exclude batteries from the warranty only applies to the gratuitous "warranty" which the firm applies on top of your statutory rights. Even if it claims to exclude statutory liability, explicitly, such a clause will tend to be void under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, depending on what seems just in a given case (the test for an unfair term is "creates an imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties, to the detriment of the consumer, and contrary to the requirements of good faith.") So the more you pay for the phone, the more likely it is your battery ought to last a veery long time.

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Dazed and confused

"The point is ... no one from apple cares. They keep being silent. They used to care about their customers but now..."

How long have you known Apple? Sounds about par for the course... Everyone knows that there are never any problems with their hardware, only the end user.

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Re: Dazed and confused

Apple used to be very responsive to their customers. Back when I had an Apple //e for example.

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Re: Dazed and confused

As a matter of fact, the unlucky 'few' should be happy that Apple does this now... Nice to get a new battery after 2 years, the phones will now last a lot longer than the not-affected ones.

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Devil

Re: Dazed and confused

Pretty much as soon as Steve Jobs took control of Apple, he tried the old lock-in route. Remember the Apple-III - designed for business, but unexpandable (quite unlike the Apple-II, which was designed by Steve Wozniak). Everybody had the same hardware, so any program that worked on one computer would work on every other one. Didn't sell because it was overpriced and underspecced.

He tried it again with the original Mac (128k of RAM). Same theory, unexpandable again. People were so desperate to make it usefull, they had to prise the CPU off the motherboard and plug it into a daughterboard that include a RAM expansion and a HDD controler. That's right, the orginal Mac had no hard drive.

This is why you can't get the back off a iPhone - you would be able to put anybody's battery in - no profit to Apple. Likewise, why you can't plug a memory SIM into an Apple - you need to buy a bigger iPhone, at a gigantic markup.

Apple should be lined up against the wall next to Telstra and shot.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dazed and confused

You must be another of Jobs' illegitimate offspring to have such resentment stored up. Hopefully in another 30 years time you will only be ranting about the iPhone 6 ...

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Trollface

MAGPIES REJOICE!!!...

...your "SHINY, SHINY. SHINY" will now last a little longer.

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Yay!

I believe I am one of the few lucky ones. but damn it has been weird for the last year. Turning off at 40%. Did all the tricks in the book, and while it improved a little bit, it's still bad.

So yeah cool if you get a new one. On the other hand, it's close to 6.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Yay!

I'm confused - when you say lucky one, do you mean you've had a dodgy battery for the last 18 months and are happy about it? Or are you lucky because you aren't one of those customers and have had a battery that works?

Either way, you have a strange definition of what you consider to be luck - a phone that hasn't been fit for purpose for the last year & a half and denied by Apple until now, or a phone that does what it was supposed to do. Former is bad luck/aweful treatment, and the latter should just be the norm.

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Typical Rotten Apple Treatment

I wonder what their position was a few weeks before this announcement - bet you it was denials and fobbing-off.

I am still struggling with a mistaken "upgrade" to IOS7 that has knackered my Iphone 4 - and there is no downgrade path allowed.

This sort of shoddy treatment just hacks customers off.

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Re: Typical Rotten Apple Treatment

I don't pretend to know their official position, but their position in my case was that the "genius" ran a diagnostics program, said that the battery was under performing and replaced the phone. And it wasn't a battery problem I had come in about. They appeared to be routinely checking the battery performance of every phone that came in for service.

Seemed pretty good treatment to me. And as battery problems tend to get worse over time a full recall may not have been justified earlier on.

Of course this is an anecdote, not a statistical sample, YMMV, etc

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An accountancy error?

At £60+ a pop maybe there was an accountants reliability calculation error?

Apples rather over-captive clientel certainly did not get a proper enough go before the lucrative noose is tightened.

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Re: An accountancy error?

More likely it was a bad lot/bad supplier of the batteries. When you make hundreds of millions of something, you can't buy every part from a single supplier, and always have perfect quality across all parts.

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Re: An accountancy error?

Quality test?

Well, you can easily test a battery for quality. Degradation in any batch will be fairly linear.

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Thanking you kindly El Reg.

Bought mine in October 2012 and have just been informed by Apple that they will replace it.

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No batteries for the UK?

The Apple site might have said I need a new battery and am eligible, but at the time of writing this (13:43 28/08/14) I can't see the UK on this site:

https://ssl.apple.com/support/iphone5-battery/country

Do you think Apple know something about the Scottish Referendum?

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