Wednesday January 3, 2018 6:03 am PST by Joe Rossignol
By now, you've probably seen headlines about Apple slowing down your iPhone, but it's not nearly as simple or corrupt as it sounds. In this Q&A, we've taken the time to explain exactly what's going on.
Why is Apple slowing down some older iPhone models?
iPhones, like many other consumer electronics, are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have a limited lifespan. As the battery in your iPhone ages, its ability to hold a charge slowly diminishes.
A chemically aging battery can also have increased impedance, reducing its ability to provide a sudden burst of power when demanded by other components in an iPhone, such as the CPU and GPU. A battery's impedance will also temporarily increase when it has a low charge and/or in cold temperatures.
A battery with a high enough impedance may be unable to provide power quickly enough to the iPhone when needed, and Apple safeguards components against the drop in voltage by shutting down the device.
Apple recognized that iPhones unexpectedly shutting down on users is not a good experience, and starting with iOS 10.2.1, it quietly implemented a power management feature to prevent these shutdowns. The update was released in January 2017, and a month later, Apple said it saw a major reduction in shutdowns.
How does Apple's power management feature work?
Apple says it looks at a combination of an iPhone's internal temperature, battery percentage, and battery impedance, and only if a certain criteria is met, iOS will dynamically manage the maximum performance of some system components, such as the CPU and GPU, in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
Does my iPhone have this feature if needed?
Apple said the power management feature applies to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE models running iOS 10.2.1 or any newer software version. The feature was also expanded to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models running iOS 11.2 or any newer software version.
Any older iPhone models are currently not affected, including the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5, iPhone 4s, iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 3G, and the original iPhone, even though some of those models have also experienced shutdowns. The latest iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X are also currently not affected. ➜ Click here to read rest of article...
Tuesday September 12, 2017 6:09 pm PDT by Juli Clover
With the introduction of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, Apple has lowered its prices on previous iPhone models, introducing a new iPhone lineup that offers devices at a range of different price points.
The 4-inch iPhone SE continues to be Apple's most affordable iPhone, but it has a new lower price point. Pricing on the iPhone SE starts at $349 for the 32GB version and goes up to $449 for the 128GB version. With carrier financing, prices start at $14.55 per month.
The iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus are the middle-tier devices, available in 32 and 128GB capacities. Pricing on the iPhone 6s starts at $449 ($18.71/month with carrier financing), while pricing on the iPhone 6s Plus starts at $549 ($22.88/month with carrier financing).
Apple is continuing to offer the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, also in 32 and 128GB capacities. Pricing on the iPhone 7 starts at $549 ($22.80/month with carrier financing) and pricing on the iPhone 7 Plus starts at $669 ($27.88/month with carrier financing).
Apple's new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are available in 64 and 256GB capacities. The iPhone 8 is priced at $699 for the 64GB model and $849 for the 256GB model. With the iPhone Upgrade Program, prices start at $34.50 per month.
The iPhone 8 Plus is priced at $799 for the 64GB model and $949 for the 256GB model. With the iPhone Upgrade Program, prices start at $39.50 per month.
The iPhone X is the new flagship high-end iPhone, available in 64 and 256GB capacities. The 64GB iPhone X is priced at $999, or $49.91 per month with the iPhone Upgrade Program, while the 256GB model is priced at $1,149 or $56.16 per month with the iPhone Upgrade Program.
The iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus will be available for pre-order on Friday, September 15, with the devices launching on September 22. The iPhone X will be available for pre-order on October 27 ahead of a November 3 launch.
To help out with the search for the best trade-in values, we've decided to look at some of the most popular recycling websites to see how much you can get back for the iPhone 7 32GB, iPhone 7 Plus 128GB, iPhone 6s 32GB, and iPhone 6s Plus 128GB. Although not all-encompassing, this should provide a helpful glimpse at where to start shopping around for the best value for your current iPhone as you make your upgrade plans for the iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus.
A few things to note -- although each website's trade-in process differs, prices on average centered on a device in "good" or equivalent condition. Prices sometimes fluctuate depending on color (albeit not by much), and if the option was available "Black" was chosen for iPhone 7 devices and "Silver" for iPhone 6s devices. Quotes are also subject to change over time.
Check out how the prices compared in the charts below:
iPhone 7 32GB
iPhone 7 Plus 128GB
iPhone 6s 32GB
iPhone 6s Plus 128GB
A few of the reseller sites also have some notable discounts and special programs running as we enter iPhone launch season. Gazelle lets you lock your top-tier quote on an iPhone from now until September 22, and you'll have until October 22 to mail it in.
This extended grace period is Gazelle's way of ensuring customers can get the most for their old iPhones (or any smartphone) right now, before the prices depreciate after the announcement and launch of the iPhone X. If you trade in your old smartphone during this time frame, you'll also be entered into Gazelle's Paid to Trade sweepstakes, which will offer three winners the "approximate value" of an iPhone X.
If you decide to go with MyPhones Unlimited, the site has an exclusive offer for MacRumors readers: add an extra $10 to your quoted trade-in price with the promo code rumors.
Apple has an iPhone Trade-Up program of its own as well, which will net you an Apple gift card for the value of your old iPhone. Regarding the iPhone models listed above, Apple's program will see average trade-in values of $375 (iPhone 7 32GB), $425 (iPhone 7 Plus 128GB), $215 (iPhone 6s 32GB), and $260 (iPhone 6s Plus 128GB).
Carriers themselves also have their own trade-in programs with quotes that mostly hit around the prices offered by the previously listed reseller sites. AT&T and Verizon were the best in this regard, with AT&T offering $270 for an iPhone 7 32GB from AT&T, and Verizon even beating that price (for an AT&T-locked device) at $302. On the opposite end, Sprint's quote for the same phone was $165.
If you're willing to enter sites like eBay and Craigslist, there's the usual opportunity to get well above the prices displayed in these charts. Quick quote searches on each site averaged prices between $500-$550 for an iPhone 7 32GB on AT&T, $200 above the highest trade-in price that we found from MyPhones Unlimited.
Of course, the eBay and Craigslist marketplaces come with the usual added risk of selling items to other consumers online. You'd have to part with your current iPhone immediately, and potentially be without a smartphone for the amount of time it will take the new device to come in, which in the case of the iPhone X could be weeks or even months. With trade-in sites like Gazelle, you have the option to lock-in a price ahead of time, and then receive a grace period (usually around 30 days) in which you have to send your old device in.
Notable too is eBay's "Quick Sale" storefront, which acts more like trade-in sites than the traditional eBay marketplace. Here you can type in the brand, storage, carrier, and other relevant information for your smartphone, with quotes averaging about $60-$100 above competitor sites for iPhone 7 devices. Older phones aren't supported, however, so the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus can't be traded in to eBay's Quick Sale valet program.
Called the "Inner Circle," the unlimited plan is available until July 31, and only to customers who purchase a new iPhone and transfer their phone number to an Inner Circle plan. After their first year on the plan, users will switch over to the normal $50/month price tag.
There’s iPhone. And then there’s everything else. At Virgin Mobile, we’re teaming with Apple to offer you nothing but the world’s most popular phone. Because life in the Inner Circle is about living big, expanding your horizons and pursuing your passions. And it starts with an iPhone you’ll adore. Pre-order your iPhone now, or head to an Apple Retail Store on June 27th to be one of the first members of the Virgin Mobile Inner Circle!
Currently, Virgin Mobile offers a variety of iPhones in all storage capacities, including the iPhone SE (32GB for $279.00), iPhone 7 (64GB for $749.99), iPhone 7 Plus (256GB for $969.99), and others. The iPhones are up for pre-order on the Inner Circle plan today, and will ship on June 27, with the plan going into effect upon the iPhone's activation.
The unlimited Inner Circle plan does have restrictions related to data throttling, becoming "deprioritized" in some areas after exceeding a certain data cap, and even risking service termination after specific amounts of off-network roaming are reached. Per the fine print on Virgin Mobile's website:
- Plans are domestic only and include unlimited data, talk, text, 800 domestic voice roaming minutes and 100MB domestic data roaming.
- Customers who use more than 23GB of data during billing cycle will be deprioritized during times and places where the network is constrained.
- To improve data experience for the majority of users, throughput may be limited, varied or reduced on the network. Virgin Mobile may terminate service if off-network roaming use in a month exceeds: (1) 800 mins or a majority of mins.; or (2) 100MB or a majority of KB.
For an additional $5/month users can gain unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada, and unlimited worldwide texting. A $10/month bundle includes everything in the $5/month tier with unlimited calls to landlines in 70+ countries, 200 minutes to "select mobiles" in 200+ countries, and reduced per-minute rates to over 200 locations. A full list of countries and details on the international plans can be found here.
iPhone 6s took the top spot as the most-shipped smartphone in the world in 2016, trailed by the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 6s Plus, based on research from IHS Markit's Smartphone Shipment Database, which tracks quarterly shipment data for more than 350 smartphone models.
Samsung's Galaxy S7 edge took the fifth spot, followed by the low-cost Galaxy J3 and several other Samsung smartphones, including the Galaxy S7. Notably absent was the Galaxy Note7, which was recalled last year due to safety concerns after some units were found to have defective batteries.
Apple's lead over Samsung is impressive given that the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge were launched in March 2016, around six months prior to the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September. The mid-range Galaxy J3, Galaxy J5, and Galaxy J7 also preceded the latest iPhone models when they launched in April 2016.
The above chart makes it hard to determine exactly how many shipments each smartphone model had, but it looks like the iPhone 6s was around 60 million, while the Galaxy S7 edge and most other Samsung smartphones are around the 25 million mark. IHS declined our request for specific shipment figures.
An earlier version of the chart had the iPhone 6s Plus labeled twice. IHS Markit has corrected this mistake and sent us the new chart shown above.
Oppo's A53, a popular smartphone in markets such as China and India, was the only smartphone not manufactured by Apple or Samsung to make the list. Huawei, the world's third largest smartphone maker after Samsung and Apple, did not have any of the top ten smartphones shipped last year, IHS said.
Apple's iPhone 6s was similarly declared the world's most-shipped smartphone in the second quarter of 2016 by research firm Strategy Analytics, ahead of the iPhone 7, and if IHS Markit's data is accurate, then Apple's last-generation smartphone remained most popular through to the end of last year.
It is important to acknowledge that these are estimated figures, and that shipments do not necessarily reflect sales. Apple does not break out iPhone sales on a model-by-model basis in its quarterly earnings results.
Friday March 17, 2017 2:01 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
A customer that purchases a new iPhone now has up to one year to purchase AppleCare+ for the device, compared to 60 days previously, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. Apple has yet to update the fine print on its website, but MacRumors confirmed the extension with a senior AppleCare advisor.
The change means that AppleCare+ can now be added to an iPhone as long as the device remains within its standard one-year limited warranty period. This brings AppleCare+ for iPhone in line with AppleCare for Mac and Apple TV, which can also be purchased up to one year after those devices are purchased.
The senior advisor said the extension only applies to the iPhone, and it is retroactive, meaning iPhones sold within the past year qualify for AppleCare+ now. Multiple sources insist that the one-year AppleCare+ purchase window applies to the iPad, iPod touch, and Apple Watch as well, but we cannot confirm this info yet.
Apple's eligibility tool does appear to reflect the change for iPhones in the United States, but not in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, or elsewhere, so it is possible the longer purchase window will be U.S. only. "Eligible for AppleCare+" did not appear for an iPad or Apple Watch in any country based on our check.
iPhone 7 Plus purchased on September 21, 2016 eligible for AppleCare+
AppleCare+ costs $129 for iPhone 6s and newer and $99 for iPhone SE. The plan extends an iPhone's warranty coverage to two years from the original purchase date of the device, and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of $29 for screen damage, or $99 for any other damage.
AppleCare+ for iPhone also provides 24/7 priority access to AppleCare advisors via chat or phone for up to two years after the device's original purchase date. Without the plan, iPhone owners are covered by a limited one-year warranty and 90 days of complimentary telephone support.
AppleCare+ for iPhone also covers EarPods, Lightning to USB cables, and batteries that retain less than 80 percent of their original capacity.
In order to purchase AppleCare+ after the fact, separately from the iPhone, Apple must physically inspect the device to ensure there is no existing damage. Proof of purchase, such as a receipt, is also required. If purchased online, Apple requires customers to verify their serial number and run a remote diagnostic test.
Update: Apple appears to have reverted back to a 60-day purchase window for AppleCare+ for iPhone, as confirmed with a support representative.
Thursday February 23, 2017 4:20 pm PST by Juli Clover
For the last several months, iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, and 6s Plus users have been dealing with a problem that causes their devices to unexpectedly shut down, an issue that Apple now says it has successfully addressed in the latest iOS 10.2.1 update, released to the public on January 23.
In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Apple says that the iOS 10.2.1 update has resulted in an 80 percent reduction of unexpected shutdowns on the iPhone 6s and a 70 percent reduction of unexpected shutdowns on the iPhone 6.
With iOS 10.2.1, Apple made improvements to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing with their iPhone. iOS 10.2.1 already has over 50% of active iOS devices upgraded and the diagnostic data we've received from upgraders shows that for this small percentage of users experiencing the issue, we're seeing a more than 80% reduction in iPhone 6s and over 70% reduction on iPhone 6 of devices unexpectedly shutting down.
We also added the ability for the phone to restart without needing to connect to power, if a user still encounters an unexpected shutdown. It is important to note that these unexpected shutdowns are not a safety issue, but we understand it can be an inconvenience and wanted to fix the issue as quickly as possible. If a customer has any issues with their device they can contact AppleCare.
According to Apple, the shutdown issue that is solved by the iOS 10.2.1 update is separate from the problem that caused it to recall a select number of iPhone 6s devices. In that case, Apple said some batteries had been overexposed to "controlled ambient air" during the manufacturing process, resulting in the need for a physical battery replacement.
That there are multiple issues causing iPhone shutdowns explains why many iPhone 6 users also complained of problems after the iPhone 6s recall, and why the iPhone 6s issue seemed more widespread than Apple suggested in the recall program. There were even rumors that Apple was planning an iPhone 6 battery exchange program, something Apple quickly refuted.
The shutdowns solved by iOS 10.2.1 are reportedly caused by uneven power delivery from older batteries, which can trigger an emergency shutdown on an iPhone. Apple has tweaked its power management system to reduce shutdowns, but some users may occasionally still have problems, so Apple has also created a way to auto-restart without needing to connect to power. The auto-restart feature is available on the iPhone 6 and 6s in iOS 10.2.1 and will be added to the iPhone 6 Plus and 6s Plus in iOS 10.3.
A new battery info screen will also be added to iOS 10.2.1 in the next few days, letting customers who need to replace their battery know that it's not functioning as expected. The warning, which will be in the Battery section of the Settings app, will only be displayed to customers who need new batteries.
When iOS 10.2.1 was released, Apple did not include a mention of a fix for the iPhone 6 and 6s in its release notes, giving it time to quietly collect data on the shutdown issue before making an official announcement. Customers who are experiencing shutdowns on their iPhone 6 or 6s devices should upgrade to iOS 10.2.1 if they have not done so already.
Update: Apple has posted a support document outlining the new battery notice that's available in the Settings app. It will only show up if a battery needs servicing.
Tuesday December 6, 2016 11:36 am PST by Juli Clover
As Apple's iPhone 6s is facing scrutiny in China over a battery issue that causes unexpected shutdowns, a Chinese consumer group has complained of a separate problem with the iPhone 6 - spontaneous battery fires.
According to the The Wall Street Journal, the Shanghai Consumer Council says it received eight reports from Chinese users claiming their smartphones spontaneously caught on fire, but Apple inspected the devices and says "external physical damage" is to blame.
Apple said it analyzed the affected phones and found that the fires followed "external physical damage." The company encouraged customers with issues to visit an Apple store or contact company support.
"We appreciate that customers are more concerned than ever about the performance and safety of batteries in their mobile devices," Apple said in a statement.
Given that the iPhone 6 has been available since 2014 and there have been a limited number of report about device fires, Apple's physical damage explanation rings true. With the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, which had a true faulty part leading to fires, reports from around the world started flooding in just weeks after the device was released.
Complaints from Chinese consumer groups over iPhone 6s battery problems led Apple to introduce a repair program for iPhone 6s devices that unexpectedly shut down, and Apple has gone out of its way in China to explain the issue and assure customers that it is not safety related.
Apple's repair program will see it providing new batteries to customers with iPhone 6s devices primarily manufactured between September and October of 2015. Just today, Apple expanded the repair program to encompass a small number of customers "outside of the affected range" who are also experiencing shutdowns.
On its Chinese site, Apple explained that the iPhone 6s shutdown issue was caused by exposure to "controlled ambient air" during the manufacturing process, which caused the battery to degrade faster than a normal battery.
Next week, Apple plans to introduce a diagnostic tool that will allow it to gather information and better manage battery performance levels to prevent shutdowns. With iOS 10.2 nearly ready to launch, it's likely the diagnostic capability will be included in that update.
As Apple's third largest market after the United States and Europe, China has become increasingly important to Apple over the last several years. Apple has made an effort to introduce a number of retail stores in the country, and it has made a $1 billion investment in Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing.
Despite its efforts, Apple has struggled in China. In Apple's third quarter earnings report, revenue in China was down 33 percent year over year, dropping from $13 billion in 3Q 2015 to $8.9 billion in 3Q 2016.
Chinese officials have said Apple is "too deeply established in the country's core industries," and along with recent trouble over its iPhones, Apple has also struggled with its iTunes Movie and iBooks Store in China, which were shut down by Chinese administrators in April.
Tuesday December 6, 2016 5:36 am PST by Mitchel Broussard
A few days after issuing a message on its Chinese website regarding the battery shutdown issue plaguing some iPhone 6s users, Apple today added a new message onto the site. The update reiterates on the cause of the issue -- some batteries were exposed to "controlled ambient air" during manufacturing -- while also expanding the scope of the affected range of customers facing the problem.
In the original message, Apple noted that "a small number" of iPhone 6s smartphones made in September and October of 2015 were facing unexpected shutdowns due to their prolonged exposure to controlled ambient air. Now, Apple said that it's discovered a few customers "outside of the affected range" who have also been facing unexpected shutdowns of their iPhone 6s devices.
A small number of customers outside of the affected range have also reported an unexpected shutdown. Some of these shutdowns can occur under normal conditions in order for the iPhone to protect its electronics. In an effort to gather more information, we are including additional diagnostic capability in an iOS software update which will be available next week. This will allow us to gather information over the coming weeks which may potentially help us improve the algorithms used to manage battery performance and shutdown. If such improvements can be made, they will be delivered in future software updates.
As it continues to face new issues with the "small number" of affected customers, Apple is preparing an iOS update that it said will introduce an "additional diagnostic capability" so the company can gather information and improve its ability to manage the battery performance levels and untimely shutdowns. The update, presumably iOS 10.2, will be made available sometime next week, and Apple mentioned that if any improvements and solutions are discovered thanks to the diagnostic tool, "they will be delivered in future software updates."
For those who think their iPhone 6s is affected, Apple launched a repair program last month offering free battery replacements for any iPhone 6s manufactured between September and October 2015 which are experiencing shutdowns. There's also a new tool so customers can enter their iPhone's serial number to see if it's eligible for the replacement program.
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. As a result, these batteries degrade faster than a normal battery and cause unexpected shutdowns to occur. It's important to note, this is not a safety issue.
Apple added that iPhones are designed to shut down automatically under certain conditions, such as extremely cold temperature. In this case, some iPhone 6s models are shutting down with around 30% battery percentage remaining to protect the device's internal components from low voltage.
Apple said it has investigated other factors that could potentially cause an iPhone to shut down unexpectedly, but it has not identified any new factors. Nevertheless, the company said it will continue to monitor and analyze customer reports. Apple reiterated the battery issues are not a safety concern.
Apple is also offering refunds to customers who previously paid to have their eligible iPhone 6s battery repaired or replaced. Apple recommends customers experiencing iPhone 6s battery issues visit an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or contact Apple Support.
A small number of iPhone 6s models manufactured between September and October of 2015 have a faulty battery, which can cause the iPhone 6s to unexpectedly shut down.
Devices that fall into the eligible manufacturing date will be able to receive a new battery from Apple at no charge should they exhibit the unexpected shutdown issue. Devices must be in good working condition to receive a battery replacement -- Apple won't swap it out if there's an issue like a cracked screen that could impair the battery replacement.
iPhone 6s owners with an eligible device can visit an Apple retail store, an Apple Authorized Service Provider, or call Apple Support for assistance with the issue. Customers who have already paid to have their iPhone 6s batteries replaced can receive reimbursement from Apple for the repair costs.
Sunday November 20, 2016 7:50 pm PST by Arnold Kim
Apple today launched a new repair program for iPhone 6s users whose devices may be unexpectedly shutting down. The issue is a limited one only affecting certain devices manufactured between September and October 2015.
Apple has determined that a very small number of iPhone 6s devices may unexpectedly shut down. This is not a safety issue and only affects devices within a limited serial number range that were manufactured between September and October 2015.
If you have experienced this issue, please visit an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider and have your device's serial number checked to confirm eligibility for a battery replacement, free of charge.
Apple's resolution for the issue is to replace the device's battery free of charge, although Apple notes that if there are other problems with a user's device such as a cracked screen that could impair the battery replacement procedure, those issues must be repaired for a fee before the battery issue can be addressed.
Users who previously paid to have their batteries replaced for this issue can contact Apple to request refunds.
Just three days ago, Apple launched a repair program for iPhone 6 Plus owners whose devices are experiencing so-called "Touch Disease" where users may see display flickering or a loss of touch sensitivity. That program carries a $149 repair fee, as Apple says the issue is caused at least in part by the device having been "dropped multiple times on a hard surface."
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