Why Apple Is Replacing the Battery on my iPhone SE

While I currently use an iPhone 8+, a still have the iPhone SE that I bought in March, 2016. With all of the attention to batteries on the iPhone, I decided to check this device’s battery. It hadn’t seemed particularly slow to me, but the battery hadn’t been lasting a full day for some months before I got the iPhone 8+ and stopped using the SE.

Iphone batteryYou cannot easily find the battery health and the number of charge cycles on the iPhone, but I found that iMazing can give me this information. If you connect an iOS device, then click the battery at the bottom of the window, iMazing displays the information shown here at the left. If you download a free demo of iMazing, you’ll be able to use it to view this information. (Full disclosure: I do some writing work for the company.)

It shows that the battery health is 73.9%, and that it has undergone 545 charge cycles. According to Apple’s Battery Service and Recycling page, the battery is guaranteed to 80% of capacity and 500 charge cycles. If you exceed either of these while under warranty – either the statutory one-year warranty, or two years if you have AppleCare+ – then they replace the battery.

So I called AppleCare, and after a few tests, the advisor confirmed that they would replace the battery. Since the nearest Apple Store is an hour’s drive – and it’s the Christmas season – I opted for a mail-in repair. I don’t currently use the phone, so if it’s out for service for a week or so, it’s not a problem.

Iphone battery2For an interesting comparison, my partner is using an iPhone 5s that I gave her when I bought the iPhone SE. It shows battery health of 80%, and a whopping 1258 cycles! Naturally, the iPhone 5S is much older, but even at more than twice the number of charge cycles, it’s in better health than the battery on my iPhone SE. Naturally, it’s out of warranty, but since it works fine, it would be worth replacing the battery, if it needed replacement.

So it’s worth checking your iPhone’s battery health and the number of charge cycles, especially if it’s still under AppleCare+, and even more so if it’s near the end of the coverage period. You may find that you can get a free battery replacement which will make the device last longer, or increase its resale value if you want to sell it.

7 thoughts on “Why Apple Is Replacing the Battery on my iPhone SE

  1. Hey Kirk, slightly off topic, but do you happen to know if iMazing transfers podcast files to and from iOS devices? It’s conspicuously absent on the list of things the app does.

      • huh, strange because i noticed after posting that podcasts are shown in the music section, but maybe it doesn’t work to move files TO the phone?

  2. This is very helpful information, thanks. I suspect many will be referencing these specific details in the coming days as everybody gets educated about battery health and replacement. Christmas dinner discussions about Apple should be fun this year.

    Slight clarification may be needed though. Your article relates that the iPhone is designed to retain up to 80% of its original capacity AND 500 complete charge cycles.” But the Apple document you link says “AT 500 charge cycles.” That’s an important distinction. If I bring in an iPhone that has 85% health, but has had 575 charge cycles, I’m not eligible for battery replacement under AppleCare. It wouldn’t make any sense from their standpoint to reward warranty support for someone who’s constantly charging, discharging, and recharging their battery more than is necessary or recommended. If I have 1000 charge cycles and my battery is at 81% I shouldn’t be eligible for replacement, either. Now if I’m at 79% however, sure. The question is, will they cover the replacement if I’m at 79% after 501 charge cycles?


  3. Good writeup – thanks for the recommendation to iMazing – seems a great App for those of us who miss the sync capabilities removed from iTunes.

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