If you’re using an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s right now, you may be running into unexpected battery problems. The phone may turn off unexpectedly even when there’s plenty of battery life remaining. This isn’t a new issue, it’s a problem that first popped up earlier this year. Apple introduced a limited battery replacement program for the iPhone 6s and announced that software updates might fix battery issues on other models. Sadly, however, software updates don’t seem to have helped at all at this point.
As Fortune’s Jeff John Roberts notes, “the most annoying aspect of all this is that Apple refuses to come clean about what’s going on. While the company is running a limited battery replacement program for some iPhone 6s models, it’s still pretending things are just fine with other models.”
Roberts’ iPhone 6 unit also suffers from the same problem. So do the iPhones of at least five other people who work at Fortune.
He also revealed that an Apple retail store employee offered an unusual fix: Apple could reinstall the firmware on the device, but this would lead to the loss of important data, including all text messages. The battery life issue would be fixed, however.
Apple, meanwhile, issued a formal response to Fortune — but unfortunately it doesn’t say very much:
We work hard to offer our customers the best product, experience, and customer support. We believe this is why we have earned the highest customer satisfaction rating of any smartphone maker in China and around the world.
We take every customer concern very seriously, including the limited number of reports of unexpected shutdown with iPhones. We also want to thank the agencies for forwarding concerns to us and their engagement with us. Every time we encounter an issue, we investigate using a thorough process including analyzing these devices. We also look at diagnostic information from the broader set of customers who have opted in to our standard diagnostic data reporting. When we find something, we work to quickly provide our customers with a solution.
As a result of our investigation on this, 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. Two weeks ago, we launched a worldwide program to replace affected batteries, free of charge. We again apologize for any customer inconvenience. It’s important to note, this is not a safety issue.
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.