A new report states that Apple uses some kind of mechanism that actually throws up a massive error message if someone other than an Apple technician tries to put a new battery into an iPhone – even if the battery itself is an Apple product.
The report comes from Craig Lloyd of iFixit and shows what the warning looks like. The user receives a "Service" notification that alerts them to a problem with the new battery and directs them to the Settings app. In the Battery Health settings, an important message reads: “Unable to confirm that this iPhone has a genuine Apple battery. Health information not available for this battery. "
iFixit confirmed that this service message appears on iPhones XR, XS and XS Max. To watch it in action, check out this video from The Art of Repair YouTube channel, which first discovered the problem: [1
As shown in the video, this happens even if you use an authentic Apple-made, Apple-branded battery. It doesn't matter if you replace it or a third-party workshop does. If the battery is not replaced by someone approved by Apple, you will receive the warning.
To be clear, the phone will still work with these "unauthorized" batteries – but you will not have access to any health information about the battery itself, which may be crucial to know when to replace it again. Not to mention that you want that warning on your phone before you actually take it to an Apple store and they do whatever magic you need to make it disappear.
I wouldn't blame new or unwitting iPhone owners if they saw this warning and assumed it was disaster – it seems designed to send anxious users running to the Apple store after trying a quick battery change from home. Lloyd told TNW “ Yet another small, incremental addition to Apple's anti-repair practice that slows the tiles by our right to fix our own iPhones… This kind of thing can erode confidence from beginners , but skilled repairers, and they may be discouraged from performing future repairs. "
Apple is already known for its opposition to third-party repairs – or something that happens outside of its purpose, for that matter. According to Axios the company is pushing back against the Right to Repair movement in Washington because, says a spokesperson, " We want to make sure our customers always have confidence that their products will be repaired safely and properly . " But even locking real batteries just to make it look like something is wrong with them seems petty and arbitrary too for Apple.
We've reached Apple for comment.