Apple Claims iOS 10.2.1 Has Significantly Reduced Unexpected iPhone 6s Shutdowns

There has been a weird bug attached the past few iPhone models in which owners of affected devices have complained that their handsets sometimes suddenly turn off for no obvious reason. Apple even opened up a battery replacement program for certain iPhone 6 models that were manufactured between September and October 2015. The company claimed that a "very small number" of devices were affected by what it deemed to be a faulty battery component, though now it is saying that installing iOS 10.2.1 can alleviate the issue.

In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Apple claims the latest version of iOS contains a fix and that over half of active iOS devices have already been upgraded. Combing through the diagnostic data those devices have sent to Apple, the company further claims that it has seen an 80 percent reduction in the number of iPhone 6s handsets unexpectedly shutting down, and a 70 percent reduction in the number of iPhone 7 devices exhibiting the same issue.

iPhone 6s Plus

"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," Apple said.

The reassurance about this not being a safety issue should come as a relief in light of the battery woes that affected Samsung and its Galaxy Note 7 handsets. Faulty batteries were to blame for some Galaxy Note 7 devices overheating and exploding, causing both property damage and personal injury in several instances. Samsung ultimately discontinued the Galaxy Note 7 and has delayed the launch of its Galaxy S8 so that it can have more time to test the phone's batteries using an updated certification process.

Samsung was able to withstand the financial fallout from the Galaxy Note 7 recall because its other businesses picked up the slack. Apple, however, is more financially dependent on its iPhone category than Samsung is on any particular model smartphone. A recall wouldn't break the company, but it might have a bigger impact.

As to the shutdown issue affecting some iPhone handsets, it is related to older batteries exhibiting sudden jumps of activity to the maximum power draw. When that happens, the power delivery is uneven and can cause an emergency shutdown. New batteries are not affected, as this is something that occurs after many charge cycles as the battery wears down.