Pressure seems to be rising on Apple Inc. in China as complaints came in from a Shanghai consumer group, which is associated with the government loosely. According to the group, there are problems with the batteries used in the iPhone 6 devices of the US smartphone manufacturer. It was stated by the Shanghai Customer Council that right reports had been received from users who had claimed that their iPhone 6 devices had caught fire spontaneously. In the past month, similar complaints have been received from Chinese consumer groups about the battery and this is the third one, which doesn’t bode well for the company.
The iPhone maker said that the phones in question had been analyzed by their experts and they had come to the conclusion that ‘external physical damage’ was responsible for the fires. Customers facing issues had been encouraged by Apple to contact company support or go visit an Apple store. In a statement, the firm said that they appreciated the concerns of their customers about the safety and performance of the batteries in their phones. This pressure from Chinese consumer groups doesn’t come at a good time for the smartphone maker. In 2014, the sales of iPhones in China had increased considerably.
As a matter of fact, they had assisted the Cupertino, California giant to become the most profitable company in the world. However, the company’s growth in the region has suffered from decline due to rising competition from homegrown competitors. In the fiscal year that came to an end on September 24th, the sales to Greater China, which also includes Taiwan and Hong Kong, underwent a decline of 17%. In the year before, they had increased by 84%. In September, Apple’s top rival, Samsung Electronics had been forced to recall millions of its Galaxy Note 7 devices because users had reported the devices were exploding while on charge or catching fire.
Apple has asserted repeatedly that the battery problems in its devices have absolutely nothing to do with safety. Most of the complaints indicate that the iPhones simply shut down unexpectedly even though they still have almost half of the battery life remaining. This issue first came to attention in mid-November when it was reported by the Chinese Consumers Association that the iPhone 6 and 6s was causing trouble for their customers. A company investigation was conducted by Apple and it concluded that only 6s devices manufactured in September and October 2015 were suffering from the issue.
The battery components used in these devices had been exposed to ‘ambient air’ during assembly a tad longer than they should have been. The company said that the faulty batteries would be replaced worldwide. On Tuesday, Apple also announced that its iOS software would also be updated, which would have a ‘diagnostic capability’ for gathering more information on these battery-related problems. It said that the information could be used for enhancing the algorithms that are used for managing battery shutdowns and performance.