Published: Sat, August 10, 2019
Tech | By Anita Cain

Apple to give researchers special iPhones to up its security

Apple to give researchers special iPhones to up its security

After the "Service" message, if you go to the "Battery Health" menu, you will be met with an "Important Battery Message", saying "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple battery".

The iFixit team explains that when an iPhone battery needs replacing, it'll display a "Service" message in the Settings Battery menu.

Ifixit found that Apple has activated a piece of software in its phones that kills a diagnostic feature related to its battery. It works much in the same way an "Oil Change" indicator on a vehicle might, which will only turn off if a certified dealership changes the oil, iFixit says. Previously, Apple technicians were asked to refuse to fix devices without Apple's batteries. After heavy criticism Apple agreed to reduce the cost of its battery replacements for a year.

Meanwhile, those in favor of the Right to fix bill continue to lobby the USA government, arguing that companies like Apple are trying to monopolize repairs to maximize profits.

Apple has locked the battery in its iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max, according to a report from iFixit.

'Unless an Apple Genius or an Apple Authorized Service Provider authenticates a battery to the phone, that phone will never show its battery health and always report a vague, ominous problem'. "Health information is not available for this battery".

The move marks one of many from Apple throughout the last several years created to minimize the ability of third-party fix companies.

Fortunately, this is where Right to fix legislation can step in and save the day.

iFixit also confirmed that the Service notice appears even if you use a genuine Apple battery, but not an authorized installation.

As usual, Apple is late to the game since Samsung and HUAWEI have already announced and revealed their own foldable devices. Analysts say this is because users are holding on to their old phones for longer to avoid forking out for the newer, more expensive models. There's an obvious financial incentive here, in that by refusing to sell fresh parts to or warning customers against using third party fix shops, Apple can charge rates reported to be significantly higher than might otherwise be available. To fix this, users must approach Apple directly.

As batteries in all phones and gadgets age, they become less effective. That is if the price seen by most now would remain in the years to come.

Plopping down most of a rent check just to get an iPhone that folds could seem unusual; however, Apple followers are used to paying a premium.

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