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iPhone battery health percentage found meaningless

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The iPhone battery health percentage that degrades over time has been found to be meaningless and a sham as it does not determine the actual battery capacity, after a YouTube channel dug into the process, claiming that the iPhone was able to measure its battery status. How does analysis work? Apple began showing battery health percentages on the iPhone after it faced public outcry in 2018 over the handset’s quietly throttling performance to mitigate unexpected shutdowns. Till now it has been considered as one of the aspects of understanding how long an iPhone can be used without visiting a service center.

The video posted by YouTube channel Payette Forward shows that the iPhone battery health percentage, which was introduced with iOS 11.3, has no real use and is claimed to be false.

It is a known fact that not all batteries have the same capacity. Due to the chemical reactions that occur when generating energy, batteries offer different capacities to users.

But instead of considering the variation, the video shows that Apple takes into account the rated capacity of the iPhone battery to calculate its health percentage. This is where the conflict situation arises.

To detail the difference, the narrator in the video took two iPhone models – the iPhone XS and the iPhone 12 Pro. While the iPhone XS shows 83 percent of the maximum capacity, the iPhone 12 Pro shows 100 percent of the capacity.

The change in maximum capacity does not indicate the exact age of the battery on the two iPhone models. Rather, the difference appears to be simply because the iPhone 12 Pro went through 97 charge cycles at the time of testing, as compared to the iPhone XS’s 466 charge cycles.

Why Apple will show 100 percent battery health on the iPhone 12 Pro despite 97 charge cycles is another anomaly, a theory for some Payette Forward. Apple itself states that “with lithium-ion batteries, the capacity drops slightly with each full charge cycle.”

Going through iPhone analytics, the narrator suggested that Apple does not consider actual capacity as the basis for calculating battery health percentage and instead uses rated capacity to estimate how much battery is on the iPhone. Life is saved. Actual capacity may exceed rated capacity in some cases and thus you may see 100 percent capacity on your iPhone for some time – even after completing several charging cycles.

“It’s like filling up the gas tank in your car… it’s all digital now, but with the gas gauge, you’ll fill up the tank, and it’ll overtake the F, and that’s going to take a while – burning a lot of gas.” Go back to F,” says the narrator.

The video was posted in April but has now been brought to notice by ZDNet.

Gadgets 360 has reached out to Apple for comment and will update this space when the company responds.


This week on the Orbital, Gadgets 360 podcast, we discuss the iPhone 13, the new iPad and iPad mini, and the Apple Watch Series 7 — and what they mean for the Indian market. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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