With a special chip on the battery, Apple is locking down new iPhone batteries to prevent third-party repairs. Instead, you’ll have to go to an Apple store or an authorized repair center.
iFixit reports that replacing a battery in the iPhone XR, XS, or XS Max generates a “service” message saying the phone is “unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple battery.” The phone will also not display any battery health readings.
The change is due to the chip on the battery itself. In addition to being able to relay information about battery cycles and temperature to the phone, the chips on the newer iPhone models also have an authentication feature for pairing with a specific phone.
I thought this was an interesting angle in the “Our technology controls” us narrative. It’s the idea that we are sort of digital renters of our technology.
Today, we may think we own things because we paid for them and brought them home, but as long as they run software or have digital connectivity, the sellers continue to have control over the product. We are renters of our own objects, there by the grace of the true owner.
Apple lobbyists have pulled a self-repair bill that warned customers attempting to repair their own devices could hurt themselves.
Ting Mobile is launching a right to repair campaign, and released a survey called ‘Epic Phone Fails’ showing that 78% aren’t aware they have a right to repair their devices.
One of the least surprising results from the survey is that 78% of people have never heard of ‘Right to Repair,’ which is the sometimes contested right for people to repair the things they own without being required to go through the item’s manufacturer. We are encouraged by the opportunity to make consumers more aware of the options they have when it comes to repairing their smartphones.
Writing for iFixit, Kay Kay Clapp advocates for the right to repair devices and says we are all geniuses.
If all this feels a bit dystopian, take heart! Thanks to repair advocates and brave netizens around the world, the tide is starting to change. This year, Right to Repair legislation has been successfully introduced in 18 states. The movement continues to spread—and for the first time, European repair allies have introduced their own version of repair legislation.
I think it’s nice that people can repair their devices, but it can also be a security risk. If it’s easy for you to repair, it’s easy for bad guys to “repair” and put hardware implants into your device.
Headlines have been saying that Apple diagnostic software effectively kills the right to repair movement. But iFixit disagrees.