The iPhone 6 Battle
Apple won’t always immediately agree to replace your old iPhone battery. Sometimes you have to battle a genius or two to get what you need.
My wife uses an iPhone 6. She has had it for a few years now, and has kept it in reasonably good condition. Phone batteries degrade over time, and over the last few months the phone would only last a very short time before suddenly shutting down. Eventually it stopped working all together and would not even turn on. So we took it to the Apple store expecting to get a new battery.
Apple Battery Replacement Program
Apple has a new initiative for cheaper battery replacements on some iPhone models, and my wife’s iPhone 6 qualifies for this program. When we entered the Apple store, there was one staff member dedicated to customers who needed a new battery. However, after seeing that the phone would not turn on, the Apple staff member said that the phone did not automatically qualify for a new battery and we needed to talk to a genius. The next available genius appointment was in about a weeks time. We reluctantly agreed.
The Genius Bar Part 1
A week later, at the genius bar, the phone still would not turn on. So the “genius” told us that it had failed the diagnostic test. Since it would not charge after a few minutes, the power controller must be broken. The power controller is a non-serviceable part and so the only option would be to buy a new phone. A replacement iPhone 6 would be over $400 (AU). No thanks. We decided to go home and “think about it”.
Something Didn’t Add Up
After a while, my brain kept ticking over about this phone. It just didn’t sound right that the phone *must* be completely broken. If anyone has any knowledge about how the iPhone booting logic works, I would be interested to know what you think. If an iPhone won’t charge even after a few minutes of being plugged in, does that generally indicate a power controller failure?
A Spark of Hope
I decided to take another look at it. I tried charging it for a few days, and holding down the power and home button for long periods of time, all with no luck. Then one day I was pressing the power button on and off, holding it in for various lengths of time, and suddenly, it turned on! I quickly plugged it in and it booted and charged to 100%. Then overnight, it turned itself off again. But I was able to get it to turn on again by repeating the same technique of randomly holding in the power button. Sometimes it would stay on for a few days if I left it plugged in.
The Genius Bar Part 2
Armed with this new powered-on iPhone we booked another genius appointment. At the genius bar the “genius” was able to run their diagnostic tests and found no problems apart from a dead battery. They said the battery had done over 1300 cycles, and they usually don’t last more than about 700 cycles. The battery replacement would cost $39. Yes please!
The replacement took about one hour, and went without a hitch. My wife now has a fully functional iPhone 6, and we didn’t have to pay $400+ for it. Yay!