When you pay 1,000 bucks for a thing, it'd be nice if it, you know, does what it's supposed to. In the case of a smartphone, that means taking calls, accessing the Internet, taking great photos, downloading apps–the usual. Arguably, none of these abilities baked into our pocket computers is as important as its being able to recharge its internal battery. If the battery don't work, all else don't work. Guess what? There are a number of reports that Apple's new iPhone XS and XS Max have batteries which, in many cases, don't work.
Tech vlogger Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy has the goods on the issue, which he illustrates by using a multitude of new iPhones:
These sorts of issues aren't unique to Apple's iOS devices (remember AntennaGate?) or Android hardware (the display falling off of my Blackberry a few years back was powerful fun). However, when folks are forking over a good chunk of their monthly income to pick up what they believe to be a premium device–and according to the reviews of the iPhone XS and XS Max they are very luxe in the functionality and feels department–it's a reasonable expectation that hardware works right out of the box. Sure, minor glitches are to be expected with a complicated piece of hardware like a smartphone. There's a lot going on inside of them. But something as basic and as important as it not being able to charge under certain circumstances is too huge a quirk to easily forgive. Add to this the fact that many customers are also reporting that the handsets are dogged by cellular connectivity issues–which for a cellular phone is a bad thing–and you've got the makings of a very painful rollout.
I doubt that any of this will do much to harm Apple's bottom line… this year. The cache of their brand is more or less bulletproof in the minds of consumers. Look how bad their last crop of laptop keyboards were. People still bought MacBooks. But, when you're selling hardware at a premium price that doesn't provide premium performance on a routine basis, sooner or later, folks will catch on. I've been an Apple hardware user for years. Hell, I write for an Apple-centric publication. I really hope that they can turn their recent run of hardware goofs around.