back to article Ohm my God: If you let anyone other than Apple replace your recent iPhone's battery, expect to be nagged by iOS

Apple appears to be discouraging owners of recent iPhones from having device batteries serviced by a third-party repair service, an exercise in market control that looks ill-timed amid growing scrutiny of potential anti-competitive moves by tech giants and pushback against limitations on repair rights. According to equipment …

  1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    OMG!

    OMG - if only Apple installed larger batteries that lasted a couple of days on a charge, even after a couple of years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OMG!

      I miss my Nokia 6310i....

      The battery started to deteriorate after a while - at the end I was charging the phone every three weeks....

      1. kat_bg

        Re: OMG!

        Yes, my dear 6310i. Nothing matched the battery life after that one died...

      2. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: OMG!

        To be fair, try playing HD video on it for 3 weeks.

        The battery capacity has gone up, the power use of the chip in idle/low use is rather good (though I admit, it will probably pull more than the micro controllers in some of those non-smart phones), but our *usage* has changed.

        My Note 9 can last days if put on power save/sleep mode and the screen is off. But most people complain "it's does not last a day waaaawaaaa" then play more fortnight and watch more videos just to hear the music on max volume without any headphones... so yeah, it dies in 4 or 5 hours... what do they expect?

        Playing 2d games on the Note 9 gives me about the same battery life as Snake on my Nokia ~3310 or My Sony Ericsson T68i. :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: OMG!

          > To be fair, try playing HD video on it for 3 weeks.

          Why would you do that?

          Its got a tiny screen. Play SD and save bandwidth.

          Besides my Samsung J5 lasts days without charge with me doing all sorts of things with it.

          1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Re: OMG!

            >>>> To be fair, try playing HD video on it for 3 weeks.

            Why would you do that?

            Its got a tiny screen. Play SD and save bandwidth.

            Heck, I don't even play HD on my 32" 720p television.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: OMG!

              What is this? A TV for ants ... !

          2. TechnicalBen Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: OMG!

            You can play SD video on the Nokia 3210?

            PS, my eyes are so that even 720 looks blurry compared to 1080p. I don't need 4K, but 1080p is nice and reliable for quality. 4K would be fine as the "better than the eye can see" option (mainly to improve colour grading to prevent tiny amounts of banding), but it's not needed on a phone.

      3. theblackhand Silver badge

        Re: OMG!

        "I miss my Nokia 6310i...."

        You clearly never had the faulty or damaged charger problem with Nokia's where you don't notice the charger was faulty for 4-5 weeks because the phone just kept working AND you had to go into an actual shop to get a replacement the next day.

        I still shudder at the thought of trying to ignore sales people offering phone upgrades and contract extensions while trying to purchase a simple replacement charger.

        If only the battery could have lasted a few more months...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: OMG!

        6310i

        My backup phone - stayed on a shelf for years switched off. Switched on no problem. Top phone and nearly indestructible. Who needs a phone case and gorilla glass?

        1. ElectricPics

          Re: OMG!

          Still got one in a drawer for just in case. Holds charge for years. Literally.

      5. boltar Silver badge

        Re: OMG!

        I've still got a 10 year old Nokia that gets used every day. The battery will still last a week with moderate use.

      6. CountCadaver Bronze badge

        Re: OMG!

        or my 7250i that survived and shrugged off being dropped down tall steel staircases, bouncing off supermarket shelves onto hard tile floors and worse you know stuff that there is no way in hades a smartphone would survive (even anything milder would kill a smartphone)

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: OMG!

      If only Apple designed their phones so that you could just easily swap the battery yourself !

      1. NoOnions

        Re: OMG!

        I'd buy genuine Apple batteries if they allowed us to do this.

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: OMG!

        If only Apple designed their phones so that you could just easily swap the battery yourself !

        It takes less than 5 minutes and my cat could do it.

        And the solution to the message in the battery health settings screen is to simply ignore it.

        1. VonDutch

          Re: OMG!

          It needs to take 5 seconds and not involve a spudger.

        2. Stork Silver badge

          Re: OMG!

          I suggest you let your cat start a repair business ;-)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: OMG!

            I suggested it to my cat but she is too busy trading cryptocurrencies.

        3. maffski

          Re: OMG!

          '...And the solution to the message in the battery health settings screen is to simply ignore it...'

          And the next OS update when '..for your safety unauthenticated batteries will charge at a limited rate. Visit your Apple service centre for a replacement genuine authentic high quality battery'

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: OMG!

      Part of the issue is that lithium ion batteries just don't last forever. I've read that as a rule of thumb, a battery loses 1/5 of it's capacity every 1000 charge cycles, and about the same amount every 12 months if left unused.

      The fact that most modern phones have batteries that are not designed to be replacable is just a sign that they have designed-in obsolescence. I don't know about you, but if I'm going to spend £1000 on something, I'd want it to not wear out after 3 years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: OMG!

        yeah imagine if these batteries started appearing in .... cars!

        1. NonyaDB

          Re: OMG!

          I've had a Li-Ion battery in my BMW F650 GS motorcycle for years now with no issues.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: OMG!

            800 twin? If so which battery.

          2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: OMG!

            One would hope that battery doesn't regularly get fully drained or overcharged, and that BMW are able to write battery control software that prevents such things...

  2. Andy Network

    “However, imagine if you needed to replace the battery in your car, but you could only buy the battery from the dealership, and only they could install it, even if you could easily replace it yourself. That sounds ridiculous!” -

    This is exactly what is happening, cars particularly with stop start need the battery coded to the car, and the alerts regarding not having stop/start enabled removed. Unfortunately, your cheap and cheerful code reader isn’t going to cut it, so the only answer is to take it to a repair centre that has the right diagnostics to do this. Yes, VW, I’m talking about you!!!!

    1. simonlb Silver badge
      Flame

      I've already commented on this before using the car analogy: there would be complete uproar if the car manufacturers mandated that the only thing that you as a car owner had control over was when you refuelled your car, but everything else - and I do mean absolutely everything which covers servicing and all routine maintenance - had to be done via one of their dealerships, otherwise the dashboard would be festooned with warning light and sounds, and the engine would refuse to start until the car was verified as safe to use by one of their dealers.

      While Apple probably think this is perfectly acceptable, the two words which spring to mind for me for this restriction are 'onerous' and 'punitive'. If I buy something, I have the right to expect to be able to have it serviced or repaired by whoever the hell I choose, even if using genuine, original spare parts, and irrespective of whether it is still under warranty without being penalised/victimised (delete as appropriate) because I have exercised my rights as a consumer to choose what works best for me. However, I'll caveat this with certain car related things such as replacement key fobs or ECU's are probably justified in having to be 'registered' to the relevant car in question.

      The minute a manufacturer starts to tell me I can only do something with one of their products - which I physically bought and paid for with my own money - when they see fit, otherwise it's functionality will be restricted or disabled until I ask then every so nicely to check it for me (and also paying them for the privilege), then I will not buy from them and they can fuck right off!

      1. s2bu

        How is this onerous? According to the article it just prints a message inside of the battery health Settings menu. It doesn’t pop something up, it doesn’t refuse to work, etc. A warning embedded in a settings menu hardly seems onerous.

        1. simonlb Silver badge

          It's the whole principle of it - having to go to an Apple authorised repair centre to remove a nag message after you've replaced a faulty battery with a genuine Apple replacement one.

          Louis Rossman's YouTube channel has a number of videos which cover this whole topic in quite some depth.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge
            Flame

            On this subject as well as on the subject of Apple screwing over people who need computers with a T2 chip repaired.

            This kind of crap should be illegal both on consumer rights and on environmental grounds. They need to be fined billions because that's the only language they'll understand.

            1. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge
              Unhappy

              They need to be fined billions because that's the only language they'll understand.

              Unless you're talking long count, that would at most result in some low-ranking executive having to settle with twenty-two karat gold plating on his yacht.

            2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

              "On this subject as well as on the subject of Apple screwing over people who need computers with a T2 chip repaired."

              Remind me again how Louis Rossmann makes his money? Oh yes - by running a third party repair shop that will take a hit from Apple's decision to lock components, and by making YouTube videos that collect ad revenue - the more controversial the video, the more ad revenue he makes. I'm not saying he's wrong - I'm deliberately steering clear of that - but he does have a vested interest in painting Apple in the absolute worst light possible.

              Also, what Apple does tends to be copied in short order by the rest of the market, so expect to see this on a Surface or a Note near you soon.

          2. FIA

            It's the whole principle of it - having to go to an Apple authorised repair centre to remove a nag message after you've replaced a faulty battery with a genuine Apple replacement one.

            Surely that's a resonable compromise though? It's a nag message in a rarely visited submenu of the settins app, not emblazened across the homescreen.

            Unfortunatly using a crypographic algorithm and per device keys is probably the only way you can reasonably stop 3rd parties making 'fake' apple batteries that fool the phone, which does mean 3rd party installed Apple battries will also display the nag too; but so what? if you know it's an apple battery then that's fine It's not to stop technically competent register readers, it's to provide some protection from idiots who go to the first 'new batteriez here' shop they find down a back ally.

            If you replace your screen with a dodgy 3rd party one it may have funny colours or not work quite right, but if you do that with your battery it has the potential to burn your house down. I've recently seen the results of a house fire that, if not cause by, was certanly helped along by the battery in an electronic device (the fire was so fierce no trace of the device was ever found!), especially with Apple now using odd L shaped batteries which if incorrectly designed could easly rupture I don't think a small nag in an obscure menu is a bad price to pay.

            I suppose the other argument is resale, but then maybe I'd like to know you've potentially put in a crappy copy battery if I buy your phone too. :)

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              It's not to stop technically competent register readers, it's to provide some protection from idiots who go to the first 'new batteriez here' shop they find down a back ally.

              You know there is a third option, a technically competent third party repair shop using high-quality parts or Apple original batteries taken from other broken iPhones. And this sows distrust in those places.

            2. david1024

              That is not the point

              If you go to a dodgy batteriz-R-uz… there are already laws on the books for that just about everywhere. Why are you thinking it is OK to punish reputable shops for apple's bottom line? These reputable shops will swap a good battery in for you looooong after Apple has forgotten how to spell IphoneX. Need to nail the rights down NOW while apple still has a development/maint. team that can fix it.

          3. Simon Harris Silver badge

            Kind of reminds me of the Windows 7 nag message across the screen of my air-gapped PC that claims my copy of Windows is pirated, just because it can't phone home to Microsoft every few months to check.

            1. Danny 14 Silver badge

              The only version of w7 (and xp, and vista, and 8, and 10) that had a 180day activation cycle was a kms activated version. In which case use a mak key and a telephone. All kms licensed versions can get a mak key block for free by emailing the ms kms licensing dept. They reply quickly.

              Thats what our air gapped pcs do.

        2. steviebuk Silver badge

          Because it does it with genuine batteries also. As Louis put it on his YouTube channel. If an independent repair replaces the battery, and they struggle to be trusted already, the customer will then complain "Why is the battery health saying I need to change the battery that I just paid you to put in? Have you really changed it?" And so on.

        3. TVU

          "How is this onerous? According to the article it just prints a message inside of the battery health Settings menu. It doesn’t pop something up, it doesn’t refuse to work, etc. A warning embedded in a settings menu hardly seems onerous"

          1. Apple should charge reasonable prices for such battery replacements at their Apple stores;

          2. If a genuine replacement Apple battery has been fitted by an independent repairer then no warning should be given at all.

          3. If a generic replacement Apple battery has been fitted by an independent repairer then a one off (but not repeating) warning is acceptable.

          ^ Everything above is reasonable and Apple ought to try to start acting in that way too.

          1. VicMortimer
            FAIL

            Except everybody seems to be forgetting something:

            THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A GENUINE APPLE BATTERY.

            Apple isn't a battery manufacturer and never has been. They don't make batteries. ALL batteries in Apple products are third party parts. Apple doesn't tell us who the battery OEM is, but it's not Apple.

            1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

              Re: Apple isn't a battery manufacturer

              Lemons are probably superior due to their citrus content. You would need a lot more than five a day though.

              1. Simon Harris Silver badge

                Re: Apple isn't a battery manufacturer

                You doesn't need an acidic electrolyte to work as a battery as the widespread use of alkaline batteries would show.

                I power my iPhone from a potato - but then I'm Professor Proton.

            2. Charles 9 Silver badge

              "They don't make batteries. ALL batteries in Apple products are third party parts."

              Not true. If they're made under a direct contract to Apple (like how chip foundries make CPUs for AMD--AMD does not own its own foundries, last I read), then it's second-party and generally considered close enough to first-party as makes no difference since most second-party contracts allow for the first party to verify the quality of the work. Think about it. Does Apple have its own chip foundries for its CPUs, either?

        4. M.V. Lipvig

          It's the thin edge of the wedge. Once you're used to this, they'll pack in more and more until you think it reasonable to agree to work on Apple's behalf making lithium batteries by hand for 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the rest of your life.

      2. dave 81

        John Deere tractors?

        1. Benson's Cycle

          John Deere tractors should result in farmers sending Dear John letters.

      3. TonyJ Silver badge

        "...However, I'll caveat this with certain car related things such as replacement key fobs or ECU's are probably justified in having to be 'registered' to the relevant car in question..."

        Fair point but the flip side of this is my use case. I just bought my 17yo son his first car - a 53 plate Corsa.

        The remote key fob was nadgered, so I bought a brand new replacement off the bay for about 6 quid including postage (and the battery!)

        For another 15 quid or so, I bought an Opcom unit as you cannot use the "ignition on to second place and hold a button down" method with a new key.

        It was a bit trickier than I was antiicipating, requiring an EEPROM dump and binary viewer to get the security code, but once done, it was trivial to program the new key.

        I did that, and set the doors to all open on a single press, rather than drivers door first, then a second press for the passenger door.

        But...the options were seemingly endless. I didn't poke and play because I didn't understand what the knock on effect or direct impact may be of my actions, but - and this is the important bit - I had the option. And, had I screwed it up, I'd have had no one to blame but myself and had that then meant costly repairs at a dealer, so be it, but....I could have

        My car (well, my son's but you get the idea), mine to bork however I see fit.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          "But...the options were seemingly endless. I didn't poke and play because I didn't understand what the knock on effect or direct impact may be of my actions, but - and this is the important bit - I had the option. And, had I screwed it up, I'd have had no one to blame but myself and had that then meant costly repairs at a dealer, so be it, but....I could have"

          But here comes the catch to your catch. Joe Stupid doesn't think that way, and stupid doesn't always mean poor. Lawyers can get involved, and they can be crazy enough to attempt to challenge the laws. Put simply, most companies with legal teams tend to have them as a defensive measure, as no company wants a long, drawn-out and expensive court battle against a plaintiff who's hired a lawyer on contingency.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Many places won't let you mention Op-com as its a knockoff (read blatant IP theft) of a product called Vaux-com and the owners of the latter are particularly shirty (and rightly so) about the issue.

          Don't use Op=com on anything related to the Body Control Module, it WILL brick the module and its happened to multiple folk.

          You can order the carpass (which has the security code printed on it) from any Vauxhall dealer (well you used to, not sure how the PSA takeover affects that, I do know the spares prices have went ridiculous, gaskets that were £10 (and still are online) are now £30+)

          Though you can buy a clone of a Tech2 off a certain chinese site for ~£300 and get full dealer level diagnostics for Vauxhalls (depending on model up to 2009-2014), Saabs, Suzukis, Isuzus and North American GM (with the right cards though even the genuine Vetronix ones aren't expensive) and having access to one, got me out of the poo more than once.....

      4. jmch Silver badge

        "If I buy something, I have the right to expect to be able to have it serviced or repaired by whoever the hell I choose"

        I agree completely. Of course, it is then my responsibility if I choose to have my equipment repaired by a cowboy outfit and have it damaged or destroyed. That's why it anyway pays to spend a bit more to have services done at a reputable shop with a good track record, and that's why many manufacturers of other products provide training and certification for repairs.

        Then it's completely a consumer choice to have their kit repaired by the manufacturer for an exorbitant fee, by whoever is the cheapest with all the risk that entails, or by a reputable and possibly certified shop that might not be the cheapest option but are certainly cheaper than the manufacturer.

        To take the vehicle analogy, for basic service or to fit new tyres etc I take my bike to the local mechanic. If more 'serious' work needs to be done, I go to the 'official' garage.

        1. Financegozu

          Ever thought of th US legal system?

          Problem is that if your 3rd party battery bursts into flames (or any other problem ...) some lawyer will sue Apple for billions. You may repair your own stuff (or bork it) but without holding Apple responsible

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        They want control? That might not be a bad deal...

        ...provided I get a transferable deal with 250,000 miles of service over 25 years with all necessary maintenance included in a fixed purchase cost and a guaranteed salvage allowance rebate at end of term. Clear usage restrictions with reasonable limits that I can comfortably comply with. And guaranteed uptime with equivalent loaner vehicles during unanticipated maintenance periods, as appropriate. Let them run the numbers.

        If they want me to take risks, then I should have control over the maintenance.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: They want control? That might not be a bad deal...

          They DON'T want you to take risks because they figure they'll get sued no matter what the law says, fearing some sneaky lawyer will find some way to challenge the laws with another law and turn the whole matter into a messy and expensive court battle.

      6. Slow Joe Crow

        BMW already makes you go to a dealer whenever you replace the battery so it can be "blessed" by the ECU causing much grousing.

        I'm glad my phone is a Motorola and "official" DIY battery kits are $40 from ifixit.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Code Reader

      I am quite happy that my code reader was made by the same company as the genuine garage code readers for the model.

    3. Ordinary Donkey

      Even in older cars, I once bought a Citroen that required a rare size of Torx screwdriver to even get close to the battery. Suffice to say it the screws were already pretty knackered by the previous owner and I ended up drilling them out.

      1. 404 Silver badge

        I always replace those with good grade 8 parts on the first repair cycle... makes it easier for the next time.

      2. CountCadaver Bronze badge

        Mole/Visegrips and or hammer and a cold chisel are other solutions

        Though Irwin do screw removers

        1. Ordinary Donkey

          Yeah, I bought a set of the conical drill bits from the closest hardware store (since I was on foot) and they removed those fancy-schmancy screws easy as anything.

    4. Fat_Tony

      Is there something similar already in place with electric cars? Batteries are proprietary and are soft-coded to restrict capacity. Tesla or someone sent an update to car owners in Florida to lift the restriction when there was an evacuation order due a hurricane a couple of years ago.

      El Reg had a story but can't find it, this seems to be the same thing though - https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/12/imagine-escaping-a-hurricane-in-a-tesla/

      1. Wincerind

        "El Reg had a story but can't find it"

        This one?

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/11/tesla_boosts_battery_capacity_for_irma/

        1. Fat_Tony

          That's the very one!

      2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Honestly I don't see that the battery pack for Tesla cars is in the same ballpark as mobile phones or even regular car batteries. The battery pack for a Tesla is a huge lot of cells and no one man can lug that around or replace it. The fact that you can only have it replaced by Tesla is, at the moment, logical.

        In a future where all cars have such packs, then it will be normal to expect any dealer to be able to handle changing the pack, but you'll still have to go to a dealership to get it done.

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

          Also, Tesla is not "hiding capacity", they are trading capacity for lifespan. Removing it during a storm, is trading lifespan of the battery for lifesaving capacity in a disaster.

          A bit like revoking some traffic laws during an exit of a city disaster, because it's stupid to fine someone for stopping in a "no stopping zone" if the traffic is leaving at a crawl.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Also, Tesla is not "hiding capacity", they are trading capacity for lifespan. Removing it during a storm, is trading lifespan of the battery for lifesaving capacity in a disaster."

            NO, this is extra capacity that the owner can purchase from tesla, nothing to do with lifespan.

            They only did it in that case as having customers die in a hurricane due to shitty range would have been terrible PR.

            Telsa are dicks!!!.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Yes. It is. You can *purchase* that extra capacity. So Tesla take the hit in repair/replacement fees if the battery gets nuked by fast charging/mileage use etc. They receded on their lack of warranty acceptance on that one. That was poor action from them to not accept it in the first place. But it shows, there is actual *cost* involved in giving you that "extra" capacity (most devices, phones/laptops etc, never ever ever let you have it, money or not, unless you hack the firmware).

              I'm not defending them, nor do I care for them. But physically, they can choose fast and long use batteries, or slow and long life. The user/customer cannot have both.

        2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Honestly I don't see that the battery pack for Tesla cars is in the same ballpark as mobile phones or even regular car batteries. The battery pack for a Tesla is a huge lot of cells and no one man can lug that around or replace it.

          I'm assuming you're not familiar with this chap?

          https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfV0_wbjG8KJADuZT2ct4SA/featured

          Who often does just that. Sometimes using only a bread knife! And along the way, provides interesting and amusing insights into the wacky world of Tesla.

          The fact that you can only have it replaced by Tesla is, at the moment, logical.

          Tesla doesn't do logic. Initially it was supposed to be a lot more open, and encourage the maker community to do cool new things with 'their' cars. Now, if you want to have anything other than Tesla-approved fart sounds, you'll need to be a proper hacker or wait for Tesla to release that feature.

          Along the way, that's lead to other shenanigans. So originally in order to get the most value from Federal EV subsidies, you were meant to be able to do a battery swap instead of wait for your pack to recharge.. A requirement that was never enforced, even though the subsidy was claimed. Ok, so practically, that's quite an engineering challenge to achieve. Early promo vids did show Teslas being battery swapped, but it's no longer a feature. Also not unique to Tesla.

          It may not be logical to restrict maintenance functions either. So there's money in trying to force everything through 'authorised' repair centres, where you can then abuse your monopoly. But then you have to provide those centres so customers get a quick turnaround. Back in the good'ol days, I could pop into a phone shop and buy a new Nokia battery & swap it myself. Now, I can't, and may have to send it off to an authorised centre. Inconvenient with a phone, more so if you have to wait 3-6 months for an 'authorised' car repair.

          And Tesla battery packs might be a few thousand cells, but arranged into conveniently swappable packs, and formed from industry standard cells.. Which are produced by Panasonic. That relationship seems a little rocky, so supposing Panasonic come up with a better (or safer) 18650. Or another battery manufacturer. Why shouldn't I be able to use those in a compatible power pack? Especially if Tesla decides older packs (and cells) are obsolete & no longer supported. Or perhaps someone will come up with a conversion kit so prismatic or pouch batteries could replace Tesla's thousands of laptop cells.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Why promote this guy?

            As much as it's right Teslas should be repaired, this person nearly burnt down a whole car garage with people in it. He knowingly charged a lithium pack off the wall socket with no protection (he stripped the protection out!!!).

            Not to mention trashed a vintage cart, and nearly a load of customers expensive cars, the neighbors etc... so I'd not let them near a candle, let alone a battery.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why promote this guy?

              Hahaha. The thumbs down on a post complaining someone nearly killed others due to reckless behaviour? What are those downvoters, pyromaniacs?

          2. CountCadaver Bronze badge

            why not just have the battery on rails (ala power tools), use a forklift or similar tool with a fitting to relese the "battery catches" slide the battery back, pickup new pack, slide into pusition, catches engage, at worst, sill cover to hide the battery pack.....

            If someone can design a power tool that can survive the "tender mercies" of the average contractor / builder for a substantial time then its surely not impossible to do the same for a car battery pack?

            Just smells like CBA more than not possible

        3. Tom 7 Silver badge

          In the 1900s the London Tram Company could replace the battery in their electric tram in a couple of minutes.

          Perhaps someone can just come up with some international standards.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Perhaps someone can just come up with some international standards.

            I think that was the idea behind the subsidy structure, so incentivising an ICE-like refueling process. Filling up a traditional fuel tank is a quick & simple pumping job, so sets a target. Be able to go from empty to full in say, 15mins.

            So EVs are trickier to create a safe electron pump that could charge a tank at the same rate a regular fuel pump transfers energy. 100kWh battery, so just charge it at 400kW and job's a good'un in 15mins. Give or take any losses, and complications dealing with the heat generated. And of course safety given you'd be letting a typical motorist get hands-on with some rather lethal DC power systems. And then training for servicing and maintaining infrastructure at electron flilling stations.

            So some old Tesla PR vids showed a car rolling into a pitstop, the battery pack being dropped, and a fresh one installed. But the battery pack is a substantial portion of the vehicle, and heavy.. So thoroughly bolted to the floor of the car to prevent accidental ejection of an incendiary device in the event of a collision. So kinda tricky to come up with a quick release system that's both safe and quick.

            Plus the ownership issues, like the battery pack is also a substantial part of the cost of the vehicle, and customers may not be happy having their new pack swapped for an old one.. Which also includes cost/liability issues managing inventory at charging stations. Defective/failing packs become the operator's problem, not the owners. I think given the volume/mass of batteries in an EV, you couldn't do a quick change without that becoming a substantial part of the EV's design. So potentially easier to have a slide-out pack in a van or SUV, much less easy with a sedan or coupe.

            And I guess there are similar issues with phones. So old Nokias etc were designed with battery swaps in mind, and the batteries were nice, rugged lil plastic biscuits. The batteries in new phones are a bit more fragile, so going back to replaceable versions would mean designing cases to allow swaps, and marketing grumbling about not having the world's slimmest phone claim.

            1. M.V. Lipvig

              MIT has developed a solution to this, but it's not ready for production. They developed a "battery" that uses 2 tanks and an ion exchange membrane. Electrolyte is put into 1 tank, and is pumped to the other through the membrane. As it passes through the membrane, it delivers its charge. When all the electrolyte is pumped through, the charge is gone. At this point you would drive to a "gas" station, hook up a couple of hoses, and one hose would drain the used electrolyte from one tank while the other tank is filled with fresh. A fully charged battery would be a 10 minute stop. And, the electrolyte would likely be something that can be recharged and reused.

              I first read about this a couple of years ago, and at that point it was a working system but the capacity was only good for a couple of miles. If they can develop this to a point where a 10 minute refill gets you 300 miles of range, the main problem with electric cars is solved and they can go mainstream. Of course, we'd still need to make sure the electrolyte is environmentally friendly, and we'd need a way to generate about 100 times more electricity than we do now because that electrolyte isn't going to charge itself.

    5. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      I don't want to pay someone to replace the battery in my car, I can lose the bolts for clamping the battery in place in the engine bay myself.

    6. sundog

      I was going to comment on this, but after typing it up, I realized it wouldn't even remotely make it past the censors at El Reg.

      So instead, I shall say:

      Nothing at all.

      Because of what my parents taught me.

    7. Balding Greybeard

      1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act

      If memory serves correctly, DMCA in 1998 was about protecting digital content; television, movies, music, books, etc. Along with limiting the liability of ISPs. It was passed by unanimous vote in the Senate.

      Interesting read on Wikipedia: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act

      Protecting batteries, print cartridges, and other consumables was not discussed nor do I think was meant to be covered by the legislation. No way 100 senators from opposition parties would vote like that.

      It’s just an unintended consequence that needs to be fixed.

  3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Coat

    Ohm My Gawd

    Watt, that's an degaussing business practice.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Ohm My Gawd

      Thumbs up for the effort but its a wee bit contrived

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Ohm My Gawd

        I thought it was shocking.

    2. Roger Greenwood

      Re: Ohm My Gawd

      You have the capacity to change, use that power wisely....

      1. 404 Silver badge

        Re: Ohm My Gawd

        Got something in my eye... nevermind, it's my finger..

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Ohm My Gawd

      I feel drained by that pun

  4. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    Pot, kettle

    There's a good few bits of high end OEM keyboards, batteries and displays that haven't been designed properly and could result in safety issues.

    1. Neoc

      Re: Pot, kettle

      That's true for *any* industry, sorry not a good reason.

      And even if the parts are made by a "reputable" company, you could still end up with a device capable of dealing death. Look at Samsung's battery problems with the Note7, or even (since we are using car analogies) the Takata airbag recall where the airbag itself could shower you with shrapnel and kill you.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Corp-Rat

      Re: Re. Apple

      Watch Louis Rossmann's video on the subject. Even a new genuine battery will trigger the warning unless it's installed by an apple shop with access to the nagware.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Re. Apple

      simply plug a "keep alive" into the accessory socket and turn the key...

      That won't work for "intelligent" devices in the vehicle that get interrogated and identity verified against factory/dealer set inventory using the diagnostic bus at switch on.

      The "keep-alive" devices are handy if you want to preserve things like radio settings/keep it unlocked which get reset at power loss.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alert

    Charged with assault with Battery on an iPhone

    Off with it's HeadCapacity

  8. Chris G Silver badge

    Deliberately manufacturing anything to make it unserviceable by any but an 'authorised' agent is a denial of customer rights in my opinion.

    So much is manufactured in this manner, so that in the event of damage or technical problems the customer has had their ability to choose, removed.

    Diagnostic systems are deliberately designed so that only authorised dealers or workshops can access systems, this is only in the interests of the manufacturers and their tied in dealers.

    I know of many independent workshops who are more skilled and of better quality in a number of industries the legal agents of said industries.

    1. Only me!

      End of life

      I think it is worse than people think.....they give you 1 year warranty (even though EU and UK state it should be more) when the battery dies, as accepted, they want you to then go back to them even though they say it is "out of warranty" when you say it is broken and will not charge!

      So they wish to screw you from both ends! That is very fruity! (and they are not alone in this deviance!)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You were lucky.....

    Not just new phones. I have (had) a second hand 4s. Last week Apple pushed out a "minor" update for a GPS issue - which has bricked my phone. Bit of research shows that I need the original factory fitted battery installed - bit of a problem as mine was replaced a couple of years ago. Even another Apple battery wouldn't get pass the error.

    If I buy another 4s (since I have all the bits, a couple of paid apps, including a very nice case), I run the risk of another bricked phone. Shall I get a newer iPhone?

    Screw that - I'm going to get a Android phone instead!!!

    1. Martin Pittaway

      Re: You were lucky.....

      Android Phone?

      Doesn't it tell you something when the manufacturer of a Operating System, includes an anti-virus application as standard, that their idea of keeping their users data secure is questionable?

      No brainer for me. I'll stick with the company that has my best interests at heart and I DONT MIND PAYING FOR THAT SECURITY EITHER.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: You were lucky.....

        I think they pay you.

        1. 404 Silver badge

          Re: You were lucky.....

          He did say they had his best interests at heart... so Tim Cook?

      2. John Bailey

        Re: You were lucky.....

        "Doesn't it tell you something when the manufacturer of a Operating System, includes an anti-virus application as standard, that their idea of keeping their users data secure is questionable?"

        Yep.. It tells me the maker is actually doing something to prevent problems, instead of pretending invincibility.

        "No brainer for me. I'll stick with the company that has my best interests at heart and I DONT MIND PAYING FOR THAT SECURITY EITHER."

        Really?

        Because you do appear to be quite insecure already.

        1. mark4155

          Re: You were lucky.....

          Don't be bitchy. No need for it. Many people feel insecure...why poke fun?

          1. DJV Silver badge

            "why poke fun?"

            New here?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You were lucky.....

        So Mr Pittaway,

        Which phone would you recommend that isn't Apple or Android?

      4. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: You were lucky.....

        "the company that has my best interests at heart"

        Really? What company would that be then? The company that keeps showing they are incompetent when it comes to board design? The company that keeps denying they buggered something up until most people affected have already thrown their device out or paid for very expensive repairs before opening a warranty program? The company that does everything they can to make sure you can't get genuine spare parts? The company that denies it's possible to recover data from even water damaged devices (When shown repeatedly it IS possible)? The company that would rather tell you repairs will cost more than what you originally paid for something than invest in some proper training and troubleshooting to find the fault in a 5 cent component?

        That company?

        Yeah, good luck with that. I'll stick with my ultra cheap Android with the clear assumption the company doesn't give a rats ass about me or my device and the hundreds of other companies that provide spares for it so I can repair it myself. I can literally buy 10 of the phones I have now for the price of one high end iPhone. And an Apple device would provide me NO benefit whatsoever.

      5. Black Betty

        Re: You were lucky.....

        Apple does not have your best interests at heart. The only thing that interests them is your wallet.

        Apple's idea of securing your data is to make it completely unrecoverable, or tell you it's gone even when it can be retrieved.

        Apple's idea of repair is offering a $1000 motherboard replacement, when the fault is a blown $0.10 capacitor. AND kiss your data goodbye.

        50 volt power rail immediately adjacent to a data line.

        Parts that fail short circuit and damage downstream components, when a slight redesign would result in open circuit failures.

        Apple's authorised repairers are just as capable of butchering your device as any backyard hack. And when they do, they'll cheerfully lie to tell you a cable or connector they broke is "water damage".

        You're not paying for security, you're paying for a logo and substandard engineering.

      6. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: You were lucky.....

        I have plenty to say about the poor security of standard Android, and I am currently using an iPhone with the security gap being a major reason in favor, but your point does not really respond to the issue. The issue was that Apple released an update that caused an old iPhone to malfunction. I don't know what the details are on why that happened, but your security comparison doesn't have any relevance to that particular problem with Apple. Speaking for myself, I will say that I am unhappy with Apple's current device prices and sizes, and so when my sensibly sized iPhone dies, I may also shift to Android. Given the security problems, I'll be selecting a device that can be reflashed with lineage OS. But just because Apple has a better security record than the average Android manufacturer doesn't mean other problems they have should be discounted. Apple does lots of things that I dislike, and it is necessary to balance those things against the positives of their products.

  10. Huw D Silver badge

    "Steve Jobs. Some say he died too soon. I think that's a perfect analogy for his company's attitude to battery life" - Frankie Boyle.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Consumer Choice

    There’s an easy answer here: don’t buy an iPhone. It’s not as though Apple have a monopoly on smart phones as they’re only number 4 on worldwide sales. If you want greater freedom to do what you want with your phone, buy a different brand and let those who are happy to let Apple retain control do so. If enough people desert Apple they’ll change; if, OTOH, enough people are happy to let Apple stay in control, there will still be other suppliers who don’t keep a tight rein.

    This isn’t a new argument, even within ICT circles: you only license software and suppliers keep tight rein on what can be done. In fact, SaaS is reinforcing that approach. Open source is there for those who want to have more control. So with hardware, don’t buy something that doesn’t do what you want it to: you know Apple will want to maintain control so buy from someone who doesn’t. Nobody is forced to buy an iPhone.

    1. georgezilla Bronze badge

      Re: Consumer Choice

      " ... Nobody is forced to buy an iPhone. ... "

      No we're not.

      But we are forced to sit here and listen to those that have drank the Kool-Aid spew their fanboy bullshit.

  12. Martin Pittaway

    Quality Control

    You have purchased a premium product manufactured by a premium product manufacturer. You wouldn't take a 10 year old Rolls Royce the a back street mechanic. Why take a 2 year old iPhone to back street repair shop?

    Printer manufacturers and the ink cartridges have been doing this for years. There's a healthy business manufacturing 'bust my ink cartridge chip here' products.

    Bit lest not forget. It's a message in the settings. Nothing more!

    1. Jonathon Green

      Re: Quality Control

      There’s a very good back street[1] repair shop near me which specialises in Rolls Royce and Bentley motors, has a world-wide reputation for the quality of their work, and for their apparently magical ability to source high quality alternatives (sometimes better than the original in some respects) for hard to obtain bits for older cars. They also rebuild aero engines, including RR Merlins. Damn right I’d take a poorly Turbo R (or whatever) there...

      [1] It’s actually in a rambling, apparently decrepit range of buildings on an airfield in the middle of nowhere, but you get the idea, and they certainly aren’t RR franchisees....

    2. VonDutch

      Re: Quality Control

      You have purchased a prestige product manufactured by a Chinese sweatshop worker.

      Why wouldn't you take it to a back street repair shop? They normally have a better idea about how to fix these things.

      1. georgezilla Bronze badge

        Re: Quality Control

        " ... They normally have a better idea about how to fix these things. ... "

        And they can and will fix it. Even when Apple says that they can't or won't.

    3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Or at least Apple-brainwashed.

      2. ThadiasVonBasterd

        Re: Quality Control

        You weren't joking! if apple had an appendage between it's legs i can guarantee it would be his primary source of nutrition!

        1. Martin Pittaway

          Re: Quality Control

          We live in a democracy. am entitled to my opinion. Why do you feel the need to abuse me?

    4. BigSLitleP Silver badge

      Re: Quality Control

      "You have purchased a premium product" - that is a matter of opinion

      "manufactured by a premium product manufacturer" - A Chinese factory that also produces other phones in the same location?

      " You wouldn't take a 10 year old Rolls Royce the a back street mechanic." - I would if he knew what he was doing

      "Why take a 2 year old iPhone to back street repair shop?" - Why is a 2 year old premium product breaking down?

      "Printer manufacturers and the ink cartridges have been doing this for years." - Except you can replace cartridges with cheaper versions and they will still work

      Literally everything you have typed is garbage.

    5. commonsense

      Re: Quality Control

      "You have purchased a premium product manufactured by a premium product manufacturer."

      Ah this old chestnut. a.k.a. You've bought something expensive, you should expect to have your pants pulled down to use it as you'd expect to. After all, you must be rich so what does it matter?

      Contrary to what Apple marketing purveys, Apples are not special phones. The lithium in their batteries isn't mixed in with Apple Fairy Dust.

      You wouldn't take a 10 year old Rolls Royce the a back street mechanic...Bit lest not forget. It's a message in the settings. Nothing more!

      No, but you might take it to a Rolls Royce specialist. You know, somebody who knows what they're doing but doesn't charge as much as the dealer. You'd be a little miffed if, when taking your Rolls Royce back, it said on the dashboard "Cheapskate alert! You should have taken it to our shiny dealers. Attention future buyers, this car hasn't been looked after."

      1. M.V. Lipvig

        Re: Quality Control

        "The lithium in their batteries isn't mixed in with Apple Fairy Dust."

        Are you sure? Contaminated lithium might explain the battery life problem, which always seems to rear its head right about the time Apple releases a new model. My first s-phone was an Apple 4GS, and each time Apple released a new model they forced an update on my phone. Each update resulted in my phone's battery life and performance dropping noticeably. When the 7s or whatever came out our phones were just this side of useless for anything but calls, so we replaced them with Androids. Turns out these were the droids we were looking for after all. My Apple phone is now gone as it no longer worked, but my old Android is still at the house and is still used where I can connect it to wifi, as an internet device.

    6. tempemeaty

      Re: Quality Control

      Time to watch a few repair videos on iPhones. Seriously. What is inside is not what you would have been lead to believe. It's got rather pedestrian components in there. Sometimes not even up to the grade of other manufactures. I guess it's one of those things that, until you've seen it yourself, you can't believe it.

      ¯\_(。_°)_/¯

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: Quality Control

        The A12 cpu is very good, and the display performance is good, which is why that's what the reviews focus on. Whether it's all value for money is up to the individual.

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

          Re: Quality Control

          Yes. It's a good chip. But it's not magic, and no banana/smoke is released if you open up the back.

    7. Benson's Cycle

      Re: Quality Control

      I do know someone who bought a 10 year old 500SEL - not an RR but still. He took it to a backstreet mechanic who just happened to have worked for him when he was in the Army. Six months later he had a fully functional 500SEL for, as he put it, the price of a 1.6 Ford Escort, and proceeded to put 50 000 trouble free miles on it in a couple of years.

      On the other hand I also knew someone who bought a pre-German RR from new and it spent most of the first year in the Official Rolls Royce Garage with one thing wrong after another.

      Anecdotes are not data, but nor are generalisations laws of nature.

  13. mark l 2 Silver badge

    When I had a engine warning light appear on my cars dash last year I rang the local Fiat dealership and they wanting £75 just to bring it into the garage to plug it in and diagnose the fault. A local independent garage said they would do the diagnostics for £30. But in the end I bought a cheap OBD-II reader from the internet for about £15 and found out what the fault was myself saving over £60 on the dealership costs. And bonus I still have the OBD-II reader I can use again in the future.

    Apple aren't the first tech company to do this sort of thing, I remember from my days repairing HP/Compaq laptops the BIOS used to restrict them to working HP approved wireless cards and other manufacturers of notebooks use to restrict which optical drives would work in their laptops, for no good reason only than making you buy spares from them.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      OBDII

      I have one at home was around £100 but current car is non OBDII so had to spend £300 on a code reader.

      Excellent value for money.

      Sorted out ABS issues (which wheel has duff bearings). A few running issues, (worked out a few needed cleaning). Live data identified a few issues fixed over the years.

      Chassis issues, worked out an ECU had blown outputs. Recalibrated £15 replacement.

      Usual slush box issue of dodgy reverse on selector switch (why does every TC auto REGARDLESS* of make I have ever owned get selector switch issues), reset is quick and gears are back.

      * Known include GM and ZF

      A good code reader is an essential tool.

  14. Captain Boing

    seriously...

    ... how long are you apple lovers going to tolerate being treated like crap, with utter contempt, for something you have bought? Where is the line for you?

    1. Andy 97

      Re: seriously...

      That's a big can of wriggling worms.

    2. Benson's Cycle

      Re: seriously...

      Mrs. Johnson was married to Boris longer than there have been iPhones. Some people are extremely tolerant, especially if their self-worth is involved.

    3. georgezilla Bronze badge

      Re: seriously...

      Somewhere at the end of the second millennium after hell freezes over?

  15. /\/\j17

    "In an email to The Register, Lloyd said he wouldn't necessarily call Apple's behavior anticompetitive...Apple simply wants a monopoly on repairs and parts..."

    Umm...isn't trying to gain a monopoly sort of the deffinition of anticompetitive practice?

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      I came to say the same thing. It's like "I wouldn't necessarily call it murder, it was just the deliberate ending of someone's life".

      1. VikiAi Silver badge
        Alert

        We used to call it "weasel words".

        But the weasels objected to the slur.

      2. CountCadaver Bronze badge

        Otherwise known as avoiding a libel lawsuit or damage to reputation case....

  16. Crisp Silver badge

    How is running a protection racket like this legal?

    Nice phone you got there. Shame if anything happened to the battery...

  17. Hunts Joe

    If Apple and others don't like 3rd party repair, they should stop selling their products and force people to rent them.

    If they got the pricing model correct, lumped in decent insurance to cover lost/theft and damage, guaranteed fixed term contract lengths (the mobile operators have been doing it for years), they would maintain complete control over their devices, and there would be no need for 3rd party repair services.

    If they were sensible, they would go for a reducing contract to encourage people to hang onto their existing phones for another contract period.

    Apple could easily brick phones remotely if required.

    In the UK many years ago, you couldn't buy a telephone for your home, you had to rent it from the GPO. Likewise, people didn't really buy TV's, they rented them. And when things went wrong the service provider arranged for the repair. If they messed you around too much, you went to a new provider come contract renewal.

    As a consumer I don't really care or want to worry about this crap. I want a phone that works, when it breaks I want to be able to have it fixed and when it's past it's useful service life I want a new one.

    Consumers don't argue or panic over right-to-repair rental cars.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      That is actually an interesting and innovative idea.

      So, Apple, how out-of-the-box are you really ? Because this would be really out of the box.

    2. mark4155

      I agree with your sentiment. Your TV rental? Radio Rental, Granada TV rental... However Your phone line and instrument. GPO and nothing else, god forbid! I speak as an ex GPO/ Post Office Telecommunications/ BT/ Openreach guy. And there's still shitty alluminum cable under the street of Manchester UK as I trundle my shopping trolley around. lol.

      Toodle Pip.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Thank you for putting "Its great service you get, renting your colour set from Granada......." into my head.

        http://www.rentaldeals.co.uk/remember-tv-rental-commercials/

      2. Huw D Silver badge

        Radio Rental?

        ]They got really pissed off if you walked in and asked to rent a radio.

    3. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker

      Hunts Joe: "In the UK many years ago, you couldn't buy a telephone for your home, you had to rent it from the GPO."

      And in the US, phones were rented from the Bell System / AT&T, built by Western Electric. Phone lines, even within your house, were owned by Bell. That is, until the whole Bell Breakup thing that made the Baby Bells compete with each other--then everyone got to assert ownership over their phones and wires, and the Baby Bells and all successors (including the current AT&T) started to charge handsomely for any wire repair/installation work in your house.

      Twist: during my latest move, AT&T ran a new twisted pair from the outside panel to my "gateway" (VDSL aka Uverse) for free considering they were keeping a loyal 11-year customer (completely bypassed all the existing phone wiring; didn't need all those active jacks anyway).

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually, Apple do offer the equivalent of a rental service. You buy on a pre-agreed monthly sum and, after a year, you have the option of upgrading; the monthly payments are based on a 20 month period so the remaining 8 payments are treated as the trade-in value. It's not cheap, but neither is getting one from your mobile operator. It's equivalent to the way many people are now "buying" their cars (in the UK, at least).

      You pays your money and takes your choice. Personally, some things are worth the extra, others aren't. I have a phone to make phone calls (and texts) - I don't need it to play games or surf the net or take photos (I have a PC and camera for that). If I want entertainment on a journey, an old iPod or the car radio are just fine.

      I sometimes wondered about people renting TVs. In the early days (of valves) there was a good case as reliability wasn't up to today's standards. As transistors and then ICs became the norm, reliability improved to the stage where offering a 5 year warranty is a good bet for the supplier. The fact that we now see the battery (or physical damage) as the limiting factor for the life of a phone would be fantasy 50 years ago.

      Finally, regarding the plea for battery life beyond a day, my first mobile phone had interchangeable batteries because, even on standby, one battery would rarely last a day. My current phone can last me almost a week between charges.

  18. anonanonanon

    Idiot tax? or are android phones just subsisidised coz they harvest all your data to sell to 3rd parties.

  19. mark4155

    OK. I'm no lawyer but let's put this in a true perspective.

    A) I buy an iphone. Not on contract. It's my property. I should surely be within my rights to seek repair from any source.

    B) I buy a tin of paint. Not on a contract. I't my property. I can paint my living room walls bright pink with it.

    It's MY phone and my paint.

    Time that we had a big discussion about this.

    Toodle Pip.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Problem with your claim.

      You buy a book. Not on contract. The PAPER is your property but NOT the text within, as that's protected by copyright. Your access to the text within the book is under the terms of the copyright; for example, you can't make copies of the text and sell that on. You CAN sell or pass along the book, but all the rights tied to the book go with it.

      You buy a car. That car has a computer in it, with proprietary software protected by contract. You can scrap the software and install your own, but if the dealer's garage learns of this they can pretty much tell you YOYO.

      Same with the phone as it contained copyrighted software.

      See, when you buy something that contains copyrighted material in it, it gets...complicated.

  20. D@v3

    I'm not saying that I agree with Apple on this, but my tuppence worth is...

    If the issue being reported is effecting XR, XS and XS max phones, these have been on the market less than a year. If i had a phone (of any make) that was less than a year old that needed the battery replacing, i would be straight the manufacturer / retailer and politely 'requesting' a new one, as there is obviously something wrong with it.

    (also, I'm not saying this doesn't happen on older phones, only that the article is referring specifically to new phones)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Heck places in the USA offer 90 DAY warranties on stuff that gets 3 years here. Worse someone used my email address to contact a retailer in the USA, who responded to his complaint that his new generator refused to work out of the box and the manufacturer had instructed him to return to retailer "we do not accept returns or provide any warranty on generators"

      Conns was the store for those USAins out there.....

  21. adam payne Silver badge

    ...though it could be seen that way in the sense that Apple doesn't want to compete with independent repair shops.

    Apple doesn't want independent shops to be able to compete at all. Apple would much rather control the whole thing and make it impossible to get your device repair anywhere else but at their stores. Take product it to Apple store they say can't be repaired so you buy another one, yay bottom line.

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Unhappy

      We really should just re-allocate the grave sites of the rich as landfill sites.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back to cars

    The lovely Ivana has a cheap ford that gets service regularly by the huge dealership on the Edgware Road.

    At the last service she was told that the front disc pads were getting near their limit and she should consider getting them changed within the next 2 or 3 months.

    Cue a couple of months later I called kwikfit to get it done. "No probs mate. Bring it in. About 90 quid "

    Took it in. "Sorry there's s bit of a delay, we haven't got the right pads"

    An hour later "sorry mate can't do it. Can't get the pads - they are main-dealer supplies only"

    In the end we had to go back to ford and fork out almost £300!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Back to cars

      What model of Ford?

      ebay is your friend.....amazing how many franchised dealers sell parts at below RRP on ebay, likely as they don't have to do the looking up etc, just get someone to box and mail stuff...

      so are the manufacturer catalogues online - textar, mintex, ATE, Pagid all do catalogues which allow you to look for part numbers

      Plus I wouldn't trust sh*t fit - they failed to fit 1 wheel nut on a neighbours car and left the other 3 barely hand tight, they also tried to scam my mum for shocks and an exhaust, till she pointed out that it would be free "why would we do that than mrs" "because you fitted them less than 3 weeks ago thats why" "ahhh well on second look they look alright..."

      1. Ivan Headache

        Re: Back to cars

        It's a Ka+ which is not a very common model.

        There are sites advertising pads for this car - 2014 model

        Problem is - the car wasn't available until 2016 - she got the first one from the dealer in January 16.

        The Kwikfit chap said that there were no pettern pads available from any of their suppliers. The only ones he could locate were from Ford and they would not supply them.

        Chances are that they are Fiesta pads as the Ka+ is based on the Fiesta.

        However - it's best not to assume when it comes to brakes.

        Redarding Kwikft - we've been using them for 20+ years and never had an issue.

  23. FatGerman

    I've got a 2010 MacBook Air with a 3rd party battery in it. If I shut it down it won't power up unless I remove the battery, boot it with the power cord connected, reset the NVRAM, shut it down, and reconnect the battery.

    Apparently this is a feature. I just don't shut it down, the battery last about 4 weeks in sleep mode.

    About 15 years ago I had a Sony VAIO that required a special driver to use a third party battery. The 'driver' reprogrammed the BIOS so it didn't do a battery check on power on, otherwise it would refuse to boot. So Apple are not the first to do this.

    1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

      I had a panasonic camera that did the same (chipped batteries so wouldn't turn on with a generic), retailer forgot to mention that, so they gave me a hefty discount on a second battery (seemingly I wasn't the only customer kicking up merry heck either), either panasonic released an update that disabled the battery check or the generic suppliers caught up as a couple of years later I bought some generics online that work without issue.

  24. Evil Auntie

    Apple Battery Replacement UPSELL

    I sent an iPhone 6 with a minor scratch on the glass in for battery replacement (and prepaid the cost of replacement and handling) this spring.

    They refused to replace the battery unless they also replaced the entire screen. This would have added an extra $100 to the cost and was not necessary...

    After several weeks of communications including phone calls to the service center I had them send the phone back without any work done. They never refunded any of the replacement cost. This was extremely inconvenient and a waste of my time & money - fortunately for me this was only a backup phone.

  25. LeahroyNake Silver badge

    Others are at it

    HP / the one that does large format printers and such has decided that on all new models e.g. Designjet 2600 that FW updates can brick your machine.... If you dare use a 3rd party ink.

    As far as am aware this is against EU regulations but they are doing it anyway.

    The older machines just complained with various 'error' messages but would still keep working.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Others are at it

      "As far as am aware this is against EU regulations but they are doing it anyway."

      Probably on the grounds that if they're forced to honor third-party inks, they cannot be held responsible for poor quality and breakages and as a result they'll refuse to issue a warranty as well as void any warranty service where a third-party ink is detected (on tampering grounds).

      1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

        Re: Others are at it

        No he literally means the printer won't even turn on at all with compatibles in it and they even warn "future firmware updates might remove the ability to use non genuine cartridges from any HP printer without warning"

        Then there is also their "subscription" ink program, which unless you print next to nothing a month isn't a good deal IMHO

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Others are at it

          What I'm saying is that, even if you try to get the law involved, they'll invoke user fault (aka tampering) to get around it and dare the law to counter it without every manufacturer bailing pug on account of losing money to abuse of the warranty policy.

          1. Dave 15

            Re: Others are at it

            Changing part of the equipment is not tampering, its repairing. We are supposed to be changing to a more sustainable, more environmentally friendly society. Repairing goods and keeping them running longer is part of that. One of the worst bits of UK legislation is that which prevents charities selling electrical goods without massive expense and hoops, the next worse is the one that encourages local councils to prevent you taking parts or other reusable items from tips. (When I was young this is where some of my bikes came from, they were all repaired and used safely for many years, my first TVs arrived the same way as did my lawnmower, all good, and all a lot better for the environment than recycling - particularly the recycling that means cutting up, shipping to China, melting down to ingots, then melting and casting and shipping all the way back).

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Others are at it

              "Changing part of the equipment is not tampering, its repairing."

              Changing part of the verified equipment for a cheap knockoff can easily be considered tampering (installing an unverified part) and against the terms of the warranty (which can be considered a service agreement with terms, conditions, and so on). Cuts both ways.

              1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                Re: Others are at it

                You can’t “tamper” with something you own!

                You can invalidate the warranty, perhaps.

                No-one has the right to disable things you own for “tampering” with it,

  26. JohnG

    I wonder what the European Commission will make of this.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      I wonder what's happen when the manufacturers counter by bringing up warranties and issues of tampering (which is considered malfeasance and can therefore void warranties).

  27. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    Bricky McBrickface

    Yes this should be illegal.

    Deleted original post because as mentioned I hadn't actually seen the video though had read blog posts.

    Could this ever happen if the phone went into a specific failure mode without actually disconnecting the battery?

    If so then simply resetting it incorrectly, CPU overheat or other "unforeseen" event could feasibly trigger the booby trap so Apple may be on

    the verge of another Error 53 fiasco.

    Re. cars yes some older units worked but depending how the relay is configured back feeding through the lighter socket won't work key or no key.

  28. DuncanLarge Silver badge

    Aww

    > CEO Tim Cook said that revenue would be lower for several reasons, one of which was that some customers were "taking advantage of significantly reduced pricing for iPhone battery replacements."

    Aww diddums is unable to overcharge, mislead and upsell when its not needed?

    Diddums

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This message urges the iPhone owner to

    hold their shiny-shiny at the right angle. Or else.

  30. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Win Win Option

    Must confess I didn't read *all* the comments here, but surely the answer is for Apple to offer an "Authorised Repair Centre Accreditation" scheme? Repair centres who want to increase their credibility would sign-up straight away. This would also dilute any claims that Apple were being anti-competitive.

    1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: Win Win Option

      Repair centres who want to increase their credibility would sign-up straight away.

      "sign-up" translates to "pay off", so just another revenue stream for apple, with no quality involved - even the dealerships arent an assurance of competence - and another combine harvester to add to the toolkit of apple lawyers to persecute independant repairers.

      The whole idea is so bad, I would suspect it has been proposed by apple themselves.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Monopoly thinking

    Obviously not a monopoly in itself but sure seems along that track..

  32. DMK42

    F.U.D has been used for

    Now that it's been identified, It's a only a matter of time before the interlock is circumvented.

    MS used a similar tactic with Windows 3.1 to kill off DR-DOS. Windows had encrypted code which checked for a non-functional piece of data in DOS, and if it wasn't found, it display an error message to the effect of: "Your system is not running genuine MS-DOS. System stability may be compromised"

    There's no reason for it other than to boost profits. If they weren't overcharging for repairs, people wouldn't see the need to seek out third party repair providers.

    This is also why I only drive older cars.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: F.U.D has been used for

      "Now that it's been identified, It's a only a matter of time before the interlock is circumvented."

      Unless the interlock is an encryption handshake that can only be programmed by Apple-guarded black boxes kept only in Cupertino and at certain Apple Stores. Then the only way to beat it would be to attack the algorithm, which would have greater implications.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: F.U.D has been used for

      AutoCAD do something similar with their software, throwing up warning messages on opening files not created using their licensed program, and some government agencies require work to be submitted as officially created on AutoCAD.

      Work-around is to do all the work on a less user-hostile software package, then export to AutoCAD, fix any formatting/export errors, and then output the final files from ACAD

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple Shmapple

    Apple promise to stop 1984, and then proceeded to make everything it made proprietary,

    so I'm sorry but if you still haven't woken up from Apple then there's just no hope for you.

    I can understand my Blind and handicapped friends and clients paying double for simplicity, but if

    you're well of mind and body ans till don't pass up that poison apple....well....

    1. georgezilla Bronze badge

      Re: Apple Shmapple

      " ... an still don't pass up that poison apple ... "

      The problem is that they won't accept that the apple IS actually poisoned.

      And there is no way to convince them it is.

      Even after they have eaten it and died.

  34. DenTheMan

    Envelope of ....

    My phone has a 2 day + battery allowing me only charge to, most days, use a safe envelope of a 75 / 35 or 80 / 35 charge regime.

    Even in 10 years time, the low degradation of safe charging should mean things are still A1 with regards to the internal consumable.

    No needs to pass a stuffed brown envelope for me. 1 day fast fail batteries are simply not acceptable.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We're all slaves now.

  36. DrXym Silver badge

    The right to repair isn't enough

    Apple et al should be compelled to make the batteries in their devices user serviceable and required to document the process for doing it.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: The right to repair isn't enough

      They'll probably counter by patenting a new battery technology and hiding behind it. Didn't they try that for screws?

  37. Dave 15

    Not the only ones

    Chucked my HP printer in the recycling, it at first complains about non HP ink cartridges and then refuses to print. If I am happy with the print quality from the non HP cartridges then it is MY choice about using them.

    Some cars now complain and wont work if you replace parts from one car with those from another

    It is ridiculous. These things should leave the manufacturer open to having the product returned as unsuitable for reasonable use and forced to issue a refund covering the purchase price, postage, compensation for the loss of use (perhaps the cost of the equipment per day... lets say a minimum assumption of 10 days plus their refund time).

    This sort of practice needs stamping out and hard. Unfortunately most of these manufacturers are dumping great stacks of cash in the back pocket of governments and legislation to prevent the practice is not forth coming

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Not the only ones

      It's not only that. They have a legal avenue, too. Since their highly-technical cars require a certain level of craftsmanship to operate properly, they can claim they need to vouch for the replacement parts or they can't vouch for the vehicle's viability (see that outside cars, too, such as with NSF-certified water filtration systems--buy a knockoff, lose your warranty AND your certification, critical if the filter system is for say a restaurant).

  38. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "However, imagine if you needed to replace the battery in your car, but you could only buy the battery from the dealership, and only they could install it, even if you could easily replace it yourself. That sounds ridiculous!"

    It does. But isn’t this already happening? I believe new BMWs have this stupid lock-in.

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