The Fall and Rise of the iPhone 6 Battery

My first iPhone was the 3G. At first it was brilliant – after a succession of Windows CE and Symbian smartphones, the IOS interface seemed the perfect match for a smarter phone. The 3G and I were very happy for a couple of years – I forgave it for the appalling camera and the case that had a magnetic attraction for scratches. And then Apple released IOS 4, which pretty much bricked the phone. Even music would not play without skipping and stuttering.

Then Microsoft released Windows Phone 7, which had a smooth, fluid interface that made my iPhone look a bit, well, dated and I made the jump. I vowed never to buy another Apple product again.

As we know, the Windows Phone thing didn’t go so well as successive releases actually removed features and required the purchase of a new phone. So, tail between my legs, I returned to the Apple Store and picked up an iPhone 6.

At first it was brilliant. And then, after 18 months, the battery life began to deteriorate. From lasting 2 days between charges, the phone might manage 6 hours. The charge remaining would drop from 60% down to 3% in seconds (and do the reverse when on charge.) I began to carry around an external battery wherever I went. The final straw came when the phone went from 100% to off in less than 50 minutes simply listening to podcasts. I had turned off all background processes, switched off every notification and location service, but to no avail.

It appears the iPhone 6 does indeed have a problem with its battery. A hunt on the internet will reveal that Apple is aware but has issued no formal recall. However, a visit to a Genius at my local Apple store revealed that after 18 months, my battery had been ‘consumed’. The battery was quickly changed in-store and the phone is back to its old jaunty self, skipping through a day or more on a single charge. My iPhone had risen from the dead. The moral of the story – book an appointment with a Genius; it will save a lot of time trying to guess if there is indeed a hardware problem or if you’re just ‘using it wrong’.

There are some questions though.

Even in Apple’s own diagnostics tools, batteries can be regarded as ‘consumed’. It should be possible to replace a ‘consumable’ – is it time to step back from the drive to ever slimmer devices and allow users to change consumable parts?

It is clear there is a problem with batteries on the iPhone 6 (and 6S) and yet Apple is not instigating a formal recall program. With phone replacement cycles starting to move beyond 2 years, could this issue add further tarnish to iPhone’s crown?

Let me know what you think in the comments…

About the author Richard Speed:
Spaceflight enthusiast and tech hobbyist.

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