iOS 10.2.1 might be the cure for your iPhone 6 and 6s battery woes

Apple says updating to the latest version of iOS could prevent random battery shutdowns.

IPhone 6S launch in Palo Alto
Credit: Martyn Williams

If your iPhone 6s, 6s, 6 Plus, or 6s Plus randomly shuts itself off, you probably thought a faulty battery was to blame. Widespread reports of this problem led to Apple launching an iPhone 6s Battery Replacement Program, but not all iPhones were eligible for the free battery replacement. That’s because the battery issue was a separate one. The random shutdowns plaguing previous iPhone versions are caused by a software bug, one that Apple says it fixed with iOS 10.2.1.

The problem didn’t affect the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, but some owners of 6, 6s, 6 Plus, and 6s Plus models were forced to plug their iPhones into a power outlet to get the devices to turn back on after a random shutdown.

The company told TechCrunch that the latest version of iOS, which is already running on about half of all iOS devices, has dramatically reduced the iPhone shutdown problem.

The full statement:

With iOS 10.2.1, Apple made improvements to reduce occurrences of unexpected shutdowns that a small number of users were experiencing with their iPhone. iOS 10.2.1 already has over 50 percent of active iOS devices upgraded and the diagnostic data we’ve received from upgraders shows that for this small percentage of users experiencing the issue, we’re seeing a more than 80 percent reduction in iPhone 6s and over 70 percent reduction on iPhone 6 of devices unexpectedly shutting down.

We also added the ability for the phone to restart without needing to connect to power, if a user still encounters an unexpected shutdown. It is important to note that these unexpected shutdowns are not a safety issue, but we understand it can be an inconvenience and wanted to fix the issue as quickly as possible. If a customer has any issues with their device they can contact AppleCare.

In some cases, the shutdown is actually the result of a faulty battery. According to TechCrunch, Apple is adding a new feature in iOS 10.2.1 that will show a “battery needs service” message in the battery information section of your Settings when your battery is worn out.

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