Apple Exaggerates MacBook Standby Battery Life, Owners Report

Apple Exaggerates MacBook Standby Battery Life, Owners Report

The last six months haven’t been particularly kind to Apple. The company’s decision to throttle its phones to preserve battery life without ever telling users it did so. Now it’s under fire for allegedly false claims about the standby time and overall power consumption of its MacBook Pros. And, as has become typical, it’s not doing anything about it.

Multiple Mac users have reported that the standby power consumption of MacBooks and MacBook Pros is much higher than it ought to be, a problem that persists across models and operating systems. VentureBeat rounded up some examples of user complaints, with some people reporting drains of up to 6 percent per day when the laptop is literally shut down and 15 percent per day if left in standby with the lid closed. This is far higher than would be expected for a device of this type, and Apple’s messaging, so far, has been “working as intended.” One Apple Genius told a user that the issue represented “normal behavior with the new hardware generation.”

“Up to 30 Days”

Multiple MacBook and MacBook Pro users are unhappy about the situation, particularly since Apple doesn’t appear to be offering any kind of help. It also isn’t honoring requests for a new battery for devices under warranty if its own tests show the system battery is fine. Of course, most people can’t just leave a laptop sitting at their local Apple Store to trot back in a week later and inquire as to the status of the battery.

Apple changed Mac battery design back in 2012. It’s easy to remove — provided your species naturally exudes certain types of solvents.
Apple changed Mac battery design back in 2012. It’s easy to remove — provided your species naturally exudes certain types of solvents.

The typical response to this kind of issue would be to flag the “up to 30 days” Apple quotes for standby time. But these sorts of claims are commonly understood to reflect ballpark estimates (if best-case ones) and to be at least approachable.

Apple’s, as of this writing, don’t really seem to be. It would be one thing if this was an isolated incident, but it fits a pattern we’ve been seeing. Apple apologizes for crippling phones, but won’t quit. Apple removes a critical backplate from the iPhone 6 Plus, but refuses to acknowledge that “touch disease” caused so many problems and only offered to fix devices for $149. Granted, the company has a reputation for ignoring the negative experiences of its customers — Steve Jobs’ “you’re holding it wrong” is sort-of Exhibit A for this kind of thinking — but it certainly feels as if we’re seeing more of these incidents lately. And iOS 11 is still bedeviled by issues according to general reports, despite having been out in the wild for months now.

In short, this refusal to address the situation and turning people away at Apple Stores may reflect Apple’s awareness that standby time on its more recent Macs is nothing like it promised. It may alternately reflect that the company doesn’t care.

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