Sunday, September 4, 2016

Recent iPhone 6 battery problems

UPDATE:  A replacement iPhone 6 has fixed my battery issues and has fixed other problems I had forgotten about, such as errant triggering of ApplePay and the fact that taking screenshots was nearly impossible.  It is back to being a pleasure to use again!  I wish I had that months ago, but no one suggested these issues could be hardware related.


I have not been blogging about Apple.  When I am less enchanted with my Apple experience, I am much less interested in blogging about it.

I have been having iPhone 6 battery issues for more than 6 months.  Problems are in 2 core categories:

  1. Poor battery life - a full charge sometimes lasts less than 2 hours.
  2. Shut off when the iPhone indicates that it still has power - It looks like I have 20-30% power, and suddenly my iPhone is powered off with no notice.  In this case, sometimes I can turn it back on, and sometimes it indicates that I must plug it in to turn it on.  In both cases, once I plug it into power, once it turns on, it shows 20-30% power.
My attempts to remediate:

  • Try 1:  I went to an Apple store for a Genius Bar appointment to help.
      • I was assured that the condition of all hardware involved was good.  My battery was in good condition.
      • we performed a reset of all settings
      • shut off nearly all background activity
      • shut off location services access for most apps, and "always" access for any app that had it.  I ended up deleting Waze as part of that effort.
    • In the end, this consumed time and was not effective.  My battery life was a bit longer with some background activity no longer happening.
  • Try 2:  I did an online chat with Apple Support to try to fix the problem.  I was guided to reinstall iOS from scratch and then recover from iCloud.  After a 2 hour process in chat, the icloud recovery was starting.  In the morning once I logged into my iPhone, app downloads and photo syncing.  After 24 hours, a few more hours of re-doing logins and re-doing all of my 2-factor setups not based on SMS, I was back to normal use.
    • This proved not effective.  I was able to get screen shots of my iPhone going from full to 1% battery use in 1 hour 50 minutes.  I plugged it in, and within 2 minutes showed 60% battery capacity available.
  • Try 3: I had another online chat with Apple Support some days later.  Although I had my iPhone set to send debugging data, Apple was not getting it.  After an hour of getting my debug data to Apple Support, I was told to take my iPhone to a store.
  • Try 4: Back for a Genius Bar appointment.  I was assured by my last Apple Support call that the store would have all appropriate history and be ready to help.
      • A full diagnosis was performed.  This appeared to be a repeat of the last diagnosis done online with Apple Support.  My battery shows as still in good condition, but just barely.
      • Instead I showed the Apple Genius the history from my emails from Apple Support.  
      • The Apple Store showed that there was no location nearby with my model of iPhone for replacement.
    • I was told that it might be a corrupt file, and rebuilding without iCloud recovery was strongly recommended.
      • When I asked how I would get back to normal use on my iPhone, there was no answer.  The idea seemed to mostly be that I had to go back to acting like I had not been an iPhone user for years.  Eventually I was assured that I would only lose my call history and text history.
      • I brought up that I have an iTunes server with media, and that I sync many types of media, and that that configuration would be forgotten as well.  There is no solution to that problem.
So I thus far have no solution.  I have these comments:
  • As a result of my battery problems, I was probably charging my iPhone much more often than it was designed to be charged, degrading my battery condition.
  • Drove twice to apple stores and spend many many hours and did not get resolution.
  • I am told a corrupt file is involved, and that some apps and core functions are crashing, and that this is related to my iPhone having battery issues.  When I asked if this was due to a bug in iOS, that is not known.  So even if I took further steps, if it is a corrupt file could I have to go through this whole problem set again?  Yes.  Was it due to a specific app or apps that I could delete to avoid the problem?  No.  That to me implies it is an iOS bug.
I am glad Apple is willing to replace my iPhone as they are contracted to do, but the whole experience is painful.

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