So…. Are iPhone 8/8 Plus & X Models Affected By #BatteryGate?

That’s the question based on the fact that iOS 12.1 which was released by Apple earlier this week has given the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X the same battery management features that showed up in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus after the #BatteryGate scandal broke. In fact Apple says as much in its official release notes and on its Battery and Performance website. But Apple also claims that performance management may be less noticeable due to the newer iPhones’ more advanced hardware and software.

I found that to be weird because I remember Apple saying that the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X were not affected by #BatteryGate. In fact to confirm that I wasn’t smoking something, I found this article that confirmed what I was thinking:

“iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X models include hardware updates that allow a more advanced performance management system that more precisely allows iOS to anticipate and avoid an unexpected shutdown,” Apple public policy VP Cynthia Hogan wrote in a letter to the US Senate. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus were introduced in September; the iPhone X in November.

So, what’s up with Apple bringing these features to phones that are supposedly not affected by #BatteryGate? I can think of two reasons:

  • The most likely reason is that Apple is covering itself by rolling these features out to every iPhone regardless of whether it needs it or not. For example my iPhone XS has these battery management features, and from what I was able to gather, so does the XS Max and XR. So they in effect are giving every user the same user experience when it comes to potential battery issues. That on the surface makes total sense. It also could be that getting slapped by Italy over #BatteryGate was a factor in this as well.
  • If you’re into conspiracy theories, you could argue that Apple is doing this because this is a more widespread problem than they are admitting to. Thus they need to do this in order to make #BatteryGate go away. Or at least stay somewhere under the surface. Now iPhone 8 and X models haven’t been around long enough to say if that is the case or not. But perhaps there might be an issue that they have seen in their labs and are now trying to get in front of?

The bottom line is that there is no clear answer. And Apple sure isn’t going to tell us because they aren’t really a company that is known for transparency. But one thing is certain. This isn’t going to make #BatteryGate go away anytime soon.

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