What happened? Apple is locking iPhones to stop people repairing their devices themselves. That’s according to repair specialists at iFixit (bit.ly/ ifixit482), who discovered that installing a new battery – whether it’s an official Apple part or a third-party product – triggers a message saying that the battery needs to be serviced. This means you have to take the phone to an Apple store to be fixed. According to iFixit, when you replace an iPhone’s battery, the Battery Health section of the iPhone’s software shows an “important battery message”, saying that the What happened? Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei revealed that it has been working on its own operating system, after Google suspended its licence earlier this year. Google’s move followed a US government ban prohibiting American companies from doing business with specific Chinese firms, including Huawei, amid a trade war. Existing Huawei phones that already have Android installed aren’t at risk, but Huawei’s next range of handsets will need a new OS. That’s why the company has developed its own. Called HarmonyOS, the software is designed to work across phones and device can’t verify it, and refuses to show other battery health information. How will it affect you? This problem seems to affect only newer iPhones, including the XR, XS and XS Max. If you see this message after replacing a battery, it doesn’t necessarily mean the battery is flawed or won’t work, but you won’t benefit from the “battery health” information that’s available to other iPhone users. Apple iPhones are notoriously difficult to fix at home, thanks in part to the amount of glue that holds the super-thin smartphones together. It’s not impossible, though, and anyone who has the confidence to crack open a gadget should be allowed to do the work themselves. What do we think? Phones last much longer than their batteries, which have a lifespan of around two years. Sometimes you’ll get longer from a battery, sometimes less, but replacing the battery is an excellent way to keep your phone going without having to shell out for a replacement. You may remember that batteries were easy to replace in the early days of smartphones. You simply removed the back panel – a process that was designed to be simple. This should be the case now, too, and we should have the right to repair our devices in any way we see fit. It’s a pity that Apple doesn’t appear to agree.