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article imageApple announces iPhone 6s battery replacement program

By James Walker     Nov 21, 2016 in Technology
Apple has announced it is offering free battery replacements to a small number of iPhone 6s owners whose handsets could "unexpectedly shut down" during use. The company advised affected customers that the problem does not pose a safety risk.
In a statement, Apple said it had determined a "very small number" of iPhone 6s devices built between September and October 2015 could have a battery issue that causes them to shut down during use. A limited serial number range has been identified and handsets built later or earlier than the period are not susceptible.
Apple said customers who have experienced the issue should take their device to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. The support staff will be able to verify the phone's serial number and fit a replacement battery free of charge. Apple warned that other damage, such as a cracked display, may need to be repaired at a cost before the battery is replaced.
"Apple has determined that a very small number of iPhone 6s devices may unexpectedly shut down," said Apple. "This is not a safety issue and only affects devices within a limited serial number range that were manufactured between September and October 2015."
The replacement program will be offered in all regions worldwide where the iPhone 6s is sold. It is valid on all affected iPhone 6s batteries for three years past the original retail sale date of the device.
Apple said that people who have already been affected by the problem and have paid for a battery replacement should contact it directly. The company is willing to discuss refunds with these customers.
Apple has not disclosed what is causing the batteries to fail. It is believed that third-party chargers may be responsible for the issues, although this has not been confirmed. On Friday, AppleInsider published a report citing unnamed sources "close to the investigation" at Apple into Chinese handsets that are suddenly powering off. The company has determined that its own engineering is not at fault. Instead, Apple is blaming low-quality unofficial chargers.
AppleInsider was informed that "exactly 100 percent" of affected handsets examined to date in China were charged predominantly with third-party adapters. It is thought that the poor quality circuitry inside could be damaging the iPhone's internal charge regulating functions, causing the battery to misreport its capacity. If this is the cause of the worldwide problems, it remains unclear why only a small number of handsets are affected.
The launch of Apple's replacement program came mere days after it launched a discounted repair service for the iPhone 6s Plus. Several months after users first began to complain of "Touch Disease," the company acknowledged the problem is real and offered to fix affected phones for a $149 fee.
Apple denied a hardware defect is causing the problems, instead blaming users for dropping their phones. Touch Disease starts off as a flickering grey line at the top of the display but eventually leads to the touchscreen becoming completely unresponsive, leaving devices unusable.
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