Apple's iPhone battery shutdown issue isn't going away

Tim CookDrew Angerer/Getty ImagesApple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple was forced to introduce a free battery replacement program for certain iPhone 6S devices last fall.

It launched the replacement program after a Chinese consumer protection agency discovered that some iPhones would suddenly shut down with 30% battery life.

But the limited scope of the replacement program has left some users frustrated. One of my colleagues tried to replace his iPhone 6S battery but was turned down at an Apple Store because his device did not have one of the eligible serial numbers.

After we covered the battery shutdown issue, scores of readers emailed us to tell us that they had experienced the same problem, often on the iPhone 6 or iPhone 5S, which aren’t covered under Apple’s latest battery replacement program.

Perhaps that’s why a rumour has popped up about Apple launching an iPhone 6 battery replacement program. The rumour was published by Mac Otakara and picked up by MacRumors, and cited “undisclosed reasons” for the replacement.

Apple declined to comment on the record for this article. But in a statement published on its Chinese language website in December, it shared some results from an internal investigation:

“We found that a small number of iPhone 6s devices made in September and October 2015 contained a battery component that was exposed to controlled ambient air longer than it should have been before being assembled into battery packs.”

The rumour about an iPhone 6 battery exchange program appears to be false. An Apple source told Apple Insider that “there are no plans or grounds for a wide iPhone 6 battery exchange program at this time.” We’ve heard the same.

One Genius told Business Insider that his Apple Store location had not been notified about a replacement program. However, he said he had seen a lot of iPhone 6 phones come in for battery replacement, which is leading to an overstock of iPhone 6S batteries and a shortage of iPhone 6 batteries.

Apple keeps statistics at a high-level about its battery usage. If there were an iPhone 6 sudden shutdown issue, the company would know about it. What’s more likely is that iPhone 6 devices now have older batteries, which are naturally seeing a shorter lifespan as they age.

But it’s undeniable that lots of Apple’s customers think they have a defective battery, even if they’re not eligible for a free replacement.

Check here to see if your device is eligible for a battery replacement.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.