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Not good ;-{ Apple is chipping away!

Apple is locking iPhone battery repair, says iFixit

iFixit: Apple 'Locking' iPhone Batteries to Discourage Third-Party Replacements

Another one!

Apple locks new iPhone batteries to prevent third-party repair, report says

Apple is using the FUD factor scaring people! And in the process breaking the tools people use to monitor their systems.

In the newest firmware in the MacBook Pro’s Apple killed the onboard diagnostics as well So far its not been fixed I fear this is also an angle to force people to the Apple authorized service.

Update (08/29/2019)

@kyle @jogihara @kristen

mmm…. Is Apple is changing its tune?

Apple gives third-party repair shops more access to authorized parts

Still the program is limiting! You need to have a physical shop in a business district and have passed the tests About AppleCare service certifications.

While I get where Apple is heading here, they missed the point not everyone has a large enough market to open a shop other than doing work out of their own home. So, a dentist or a medical doctor needs to have a doctors office as well then? And of course these professionals don’t offer good care either.

I do think the certifications makes sense. If the issue was the skills but its not! Its getting the real parts! Clearly they got that message but have failed to get it over the goal post!

And it still appears we are talking about batteries, not the repair of the phone or system as a whole?

I think we need to push a little more here! Drop the business address instead they need to have a business web page. Being a member of some business group would be a good idea.

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@kristen - Apple is pushing this again this week!

Apple claims scary iPhone battery warning is for customer safety

Apple on iPhone Battery Locking Issue: We Want to Make Sure Battery Replacement is Done Properly

Here's Apple's statement on the iPhone 'battery lock' controversy

These sites just don't get it! This is anti Right to Repair

Can you imagine taking your car in for an oil & filter change and they disconnect your speedometer! Now you have no idea how fast you're going or when you need to service your car again! Just dumb!

There are many other ways Apple could have done to cover their butts if that was truly the issue (which we know its not)

Remember! Its Apples own batteries that are the failing ones (blowing up and catching fire) So far I haven't see any proof positive report stating a 3rd party battery was the issue.

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@danj You can't really expect common sense from a fanboy, mostly they don't have a clue what they are talking about, they just raise the flag cause that's all the best they can do, filling their empty brains with other's thoughts. History is full of such characters, now they just got a slightly bigger audience than in a Hyde Park's corner.

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Sometimes they do stand up. But it takes pressure from the populous to set them straight. And it does take a flagship group to stand up like iFixit. Which they have done (and well!), but, once is not enough! It's the constant hum of truth that will set the stage.

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@danj Oh, Apple's going for the "safety" argument. Scaring people into thinking they aren't qualified to perform simple repairs is awful. Let the user decide where their comfort level is.

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@kristen They use it because it works the best.

I've done a S6 Edge+ before to make the battery ready to remove with wavy anode and cathode layers that needs to go but that didn't scare me because I've done worse like glued in tablet batteries. I'm waiting on the owner to make a decision with the phone (or abandon it) so I'd rather have it be ready to accept a new one.

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Dan,

Thanks for sharing. This is why need Right to Repair more than ever! In the meantime, I’m going to try to hang on to my iPhone 6s for as long as possible. :)

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@kristen - For sure!

But its more than the iPhones! Apple's manipulation of the onboard diagnostics as poor as they are just makes repairing harder! And then we have the 2018 MacBook onward display issues looming.

I hope the FTC gives us some teeth soon!

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@danj I'll look into this! Thanks for sending my way.

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@kristen - Looks like there's more going on than just the iPhone! Here's one on OWC SSD "We have received reports of Aura Pro X in some machines running perfectly normally but still returning a VDH002 in Apple Diagnostic; at this time we suspect that Apple Diagnostic is detecting the presence of a non-Apple drive."

OWC 240GB Aura Pro X2 SSD 2xstart boot

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@danj Yikes! Users should be able to easily swap out SSDs!

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I completely agree with @kristen that we need the Right to Repair more than ever! It’s absolutely ridiculous that a manufacturer can say that you’re only allowed to use their “authorized” services to repair your device, when in reality anyone can complete the repair with the right tools and instructions. I only hope that other companies won’t follow what Apple is doing, for example, if Samsung started doing this (oh boy), then we’re in a whole new heap of trouble.

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@jogihara Wouldn't affect me since I stopped buying new Samsung phones after KNOX, so they've been on my do not buy new list since the S3/Note 2 :). Yeah, it's petty but the carriers can shove it. It's my phone and I should be able to change the ROM. Part of that is I come from the flip phones where you could SIM unlock it with an eBay key all day (because it was a PITA back then) and load a stock reference ROM like the Euro OS image on the RAZR V3 series to get back the features your carrier blocked (in my case, Cingular).

I also had a Euro V3i with the 2G bands working in the US but no 3G. I also didn't get text messaging until unlimited became the standard. Yeah I just aged myself :p. As far as Samsung goes, I have not budged yet.

I will only ever buy them used so they don't see a cent.

The other thing is if Samsung was to do this, what I and anyone who is willing to learn/can program an Android ROM can do is pull the ROM from Samsung's website (GPL makes this legally fair game) and modify the ROM or reset the phone and dump it. Another option is to replace the Samsung ROM outright with a custom one that has proper update support. The catch is the flash phone CANNOT BE FROM AT&T/VERIZON (Boot signature enforcement) and T-Mobile *may not* work (unless it comes with an unlocked bootloader or has the OEM unlock dev option and a key isn't needed). I don't know about Sprint since I see the P in the FCC ID and think parts phone since Sprint has historically had a horrible unlock policy since the CDMA/iDEN era and they really haven't changed much since they make you call IIRC.

The factory unlocked ones (Unlocked by Samsung) are open for ROM replacement (but may need the OEM unlock flag checked) but you blow the KNOX eFuse and trigger the 0x01 death flag, even on the unlockable phones from T-Mobile and possibly MNVOs that get them from Samsung as factory unlocked and SIM lock them by preinstalling a SIM card. They make you choose freedom or KNOX :(.

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@nick Interesting! My first cell phone was a Sanyo Katana, but I don't think I really dove into all the features and tricks that you could do with the software. My family were all on Sprint for the longest time until they made models where the SIM card was not removable, which made it impossible to switch to a new device while staying on the same carrier. I'm curious; what carrier do you use (if at all) currently?

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@jogihara You had a CDMA Sprint phone than with an eSIM; Nextel was much rarer. That said, there were a few GSM transition devices with hard to remove GSM cards; the Samsung Note 2 was one of them.

Sprint Samsungs prior to the S6 have poor parts interchangeability as well, but that was also the case with Verizon. With the Note 2, the CDMA and GSM screens are the same in regards to the connectors - BUT the heatsinking varied. That's why when I was asked to look at someone's AT&T S6 Edge+ and see if it can be repaired cheaply, I warned them about Sprint phones if they get a donor. I looked at it and think it'll work, but this person doesn't understand the risks the way I do :( - At least they heeded my warning...

If I end up with it and they don't want to fix it, I'm okay with the risk as long as the price is right. They're probably identical enough (with the exception of the ROM, SIM lock and radio) I can get one with a bad board or screen burn, not bother with the board and just use the screen. The battery is a start new because of the difficulty of the repair job.

AT&T right now. Awful service and I'm going to T-Mobile next since they're one of the few GSM carriers that are descent. I don't finance phones and I'd rather get whatever I want and not what the carrier has "approved" (something Verizon and Sprint do despite being mostly GSM and Verizon being 100% GSM very soon). I'm still happy with my G5 Plus but I'll upgrade at some point - without financing. If you have to finance the phone and can't afford to pay in one lump sum, you can't afford it.

Maybe I'm just that old school, but owning the phone beats paying on a depreciating asset at its full price over 2+ years. You're paying $1000 either way. You can cry in one sitting and move on in 10 minutes and that's it. Or you can pay $50/month over 2.5 years on a depreciating asset. If I didn't show my age based on what phones I had back in the day and even saying iDEN, my take on 0% financing the carriers love now does.

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@jogihara - I think this is the repairpersons The shot that was heard around the world

We need to get the 'Right to Repair' out of committee's and get a hard vote some where! This is WAR folks simply put!

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@danj I'd equate it more to our version of War Games.

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We all know how this goes and where it will lead to. I wholeheartedly agree with @jogihara and @kristen on this one. We NEED the Right to Repair now. Since this does not seem to be happening as expeditiously as each one of us would like it to be, we should at least think about workarounds. I do not have one of the iPhone X batteries available but I wonder if there really is a BQ27546-G1 (or similar)TI IC on it. I do think that this is most likely where the software reads and prevents a successful change of the battery. Has anybody yet done a teardown of the battery to look at the circuitry and components involved? I doubt that removing the TI IC from a failed battery and transplanting it to an exchange battery would be viable (maybe @refectio would be up to doing some soldering for us ;-). What about removing the complete board from the battery and transplanting it? @jogihara @kristen iFixit have some blocked phones available that show the “Service” message? Would you all consider giving that a try as a workaround? Due to a “challenge” in answers I am currently studying the circuitry and other properties of these batteries and am seriously trying to figure out if a HDQ communication device would help us out with this TI datasheet. @refectio @arbaman @salvagedcircuit what do you guys think? It will not get better and we need to be involved in finding solutions to combat the greed and monopoly of all of these companies. The worst thing to do is to adopt a “does not affect me” attitude. Here is my battle cry “Repair Is War On Entropy!!!!” Yes, I know to much coffee this late in the evening but you all know what I mean.

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It seems more of the same keeps coming, they started with the touch ID, then screens with True tone disabled and touch issues, autobrightness gone for good on many devices, Taptic engines working on some phones but not on others, now the batteries, next will be every single flat cable and button where they can solder a chip to. It's clear they are determined and very busy in studying how to cut out every single indipendent repair from Apple devices. We go well beyond the secure enclave BS they fed the media for years with, this is nothing but an unjustified war declaration towards customers and the right for repair. Unfortunately so far I haven't worked on any single device introduced last fall and don't have any battery at hand to be able to contribute tearing down.

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@oldturkey03 - I which I could help but I don't fix iPhones ;-{

This is a good start as I'm sure we'll need to use the magic tool to fix other serialized parts as well.

Apple has done a bonehead solution which is not addressing what they claim! This is not safety, this is to put replacement batteries that are not installed by Apple into question!

Here's a thought... Lets say yhr authorized servers get the tool to re-serialize the battery who's to say they don't use a 3rd party battery too!

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After reading up on this issue, it definitely seems like an underhanded move by apple to encourage apple-only batteries as replacement batteries. Of course, there are potential solutions to this battery recognition problem, but none of them are quick or pretty.

We are truly at a point in time where so many tools and software packages are available (even free ones) that anything is possible. The solution to this problem is quite laborious. A brief overview of the procedure would look something like this:

1. Take the apple specific chip and attempt to read it with TI-specific utilities

2. Attempt to dump the contents of the microcontoller's rom

3. If reading and dumping contents unsuccessful, decap chip and look for similarities in gate structure

4. analyze an apple-ti chip and normal TI chip by running the equivalent of a software diff. Find the specific oddball code, repackage the ROM and use it to re-flash off the shelf TI chips.

Of course, redistributing this code used on the apple-ti chip is greatly discouraged by me as this would be highly illegal and get you into legal trouble.

However, There is still an ace up the sleeve. It is defcon and blackhat week and there are folks out there wiser than I that have had great success in reverse engineering chips. Of course, you would need to pitch to someone to go after Ti's "secure B-to-B protocol" and explain the situation to them, but you may get lucky enough and convince someone.

I am honestly surprised Apple is going to these extents to gate-keep their battery supply line.

This is not going to look good for apple in upcoming anti-competitive litigation.

With this in mind, it is a good idea to spread this info far and wide to put pressure on the folks at apple.

At the end of the day, apple really does not want anyone to own any part of it's products except itself, from cradle to grave. This is extremely silly and partly why I avoid the apple ecosystem whenever possible. It is truly sad, as their upcoming apple XDR desktop display looks pretty sweet on paper. But that's where it'll stay for me: On paper. I'm not going to buy one because I'd rather have some uncalibrated, B+ panel, off-the-shelf monitor that I can fix and buy replacement ICs for rather then a monitor that uses apple proprietary chips that no one can source, not even digikey or mouser.

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This does not help me at all since I don’t do iPhones, just Macs. Now if they let me work on their Legacy Machines, then I’m not in competition with them. Sell me those parts they are just going to grind up to force everyone to buy a new machine.

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@mayer - I think the Mac's & iPad's will be added once they get the iPhone program rolled out.

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@danj Doesn't matter, I no longer have a brick and mortar store. Even though I was a VAR when I did, I still can't get parts.

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I feel your pain as I don't either!

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Hmmm.....just wander in on this discussion due to none exploration of meta.ifixit before this except for 1 post regarding authorization. I must say that I am very pleasantly surprised at this great discussion. Thanks to all who participated in this;much appreciated!

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Dan will be eternally grateful.
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