Are all iPhone 6s dying right now? Stupid planned obsolescence!

My iphone 6, purchased a mere 5 years ago, started having battery problems again.  This would be the second time it’s had battery problems, the first time being when they had that lawsuit.  It got down to 84% and I decided I might as well send it in before it got down to the recommended 80% while I was on Christmas break and not expecting to leave the house.  DH and DC1 both have phones, and I can text people using my iPad pro even if I can’t get calls.

So I sent it off (and immediately had a reporter want to call me, but we ended up zooming instead, which was nice because I was able to show him what I was talking about visually instead of using words).  Last time I got a battery replacement, I think we went to the city, but I’m not planning on going to a genius bar until after I’m vaccinated!

It made it to California and then I got an email saying it needed $299.99 worth of repairs, though it didn’t give any other information.  DH called the customer service link and they were like, yeah, the technician didn’t write down what the problem was so I can’t tell you.  But they’re not going to replace your battery unless you give them another $300.  You want us to send it back to you?  And DH was like yes please.  We’re certainly not going to get something repaired if we don’t know what it is being repaired for!

And three days later they still hadn’t sent it back, so I clicked the “please return to me” button when they emailed me to say we hadn’t told them what to do.  That didn’t seem to do anything either, but on the day they said they’d return it if they didn’t hear from us, I got an email saying they were returning it.  It came back and seems to be in the same working order as when I sent it, though I did have to switch off a bunch of personal data sharing that somehow magically got turned back on.

If this had happened before DH’s layoff, I would have gotten the iPhone 12 mini, probably a souped up version for like $900, given it to DH and then taken his iPhone 8 as my own.  Now I’m stuck trying to decide if I should do that (maybe with a less fancy version for $750) or get an SE which is only $450.  Right now I’m mostly at home with access to charging so the battery isn’t as bad a problem as it could be, so I might be able to put this decision off until the *next* iphone product comes out.  But once I’m spending more time outside of my house, especially if travel is involved, I will definitely need something that can hold a charge longer than my phone currently does.

I’m irritated because I do not really ask much of my phone, just websurfing (including youtube), google hangouts, email, and occasional map stuff.  I have only downloaded three apps (hotmail, hangouts, and google maps).  I spend most of my time on Safari.  I don’t need a fancy phone.  My iPhone 6 was fine.

My friend’s iPhone 6S’s battery is dying and she’s getting a new one.  I saw revanche complaining about her iPhone 6 on twitter.  I have to wonder if there’s some kind of planned obsolescence thing going on that doesn’t care how much or how little you use your phone or when you bought it.  It’s almost enough to make me want to try an Android.

Have you experienced planned obsolescence on your phone recently?  How do you decide when to get a new phone?  How do you decide which kind of phone to get? 

The problem with buying an Apple Watch and why we finally gave our 12 year old a smart phone

I heard somewhere that the Apple Watch detects heart attacks and then notifies authorities.  This is not actually true.  But I thought it was true.  DH works from home alone and my second biggest fear is that he’s going to have a heart attack at home and his life could have been saved if people had been around to get him medical attention (my biggest fear is similar but involves semi-trucks and crossing the street).  So I decided that an Apple Watch would be a good thing for DH to get, especially after reading a bunch of highly compelling stories about people whose lives were saved by the watch.  After additional research, I did find out that the newest version of the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch 5, is very good at fall detection and will alert authorities and I have instructed DH to attempt to fall (in addition to chewing the aspirin I make him keep at his desk) should he feel a heart attack coming on and is unable to call 911.  This is only somewhat tongue-in-cheek (yes, I do make him keep aspirin at his desk).  Version 5 also has better detection of heart problems that aren’t heart attacks, so if it’s a heart problem that has some warning signs that would be nice too.  So even after I found out that the heart attack thing isn’t true, I was sold on him having one.

It turns out, if you buy an Apple Watch 5, you’re going to need a new iPhone to go with it (because your iPhone 6 isn’t compatible).  You find this out after you get the watch in the mail and have to decide whether to upgrade the phone or return the watch.

When you get a new iPhone 8, you’re going to need a new SIM card to go with it (because your old iPhone 6 SIM card isn’t compatible).  Fortunately, unlike the iPhone 8 ($450 plus tax), the SIM card is only $5 (plus $4 s/h plus tax).  You also find this out after you get the new iPhone in the mail, but by this point you’re committed.

DC1 is going to get the hand-me-down iPhone 6, which is surprisingly beat up (surprisingly because mine is still in really nice condition).  Turns out it’s only worth about $60 resale which is just a little more than we’ve been paying for DC1’s crappy flip phones.  DC1’s current crappy dumb phone has been driving us crazy because it doesn’t get very good reception at hir school which means zie leaves us voice mails that we can’t understand and zie doesn’t get our texts when we need to pick hir up.  It also has such a terrible battery life that I went and bought hir an external battery. Zie has lost or washed so many flip phones at this point we assumed this one would not last long, but it’s been a few months.  Zie will still have it as a back-up when zie inevitably loses the iPhone.

We are going to have to have a long talk about proper smart-phone use and internet addiction and all those other lovely things, but it will be nice for DC1 to be able to use an electronic calendar and to actually get the texts that hir orchestra teacher tends to send in the middle of the day.

Do you have a smart watch?  If applicable, when did your kid get a smart phone?