iPhone [Photo / Shanghai Daily]

Apple yesterday revealed for the first time that the unexpected shutdowns of “a small number” of iPhone 6S smartphones were due to a battery component that was exposed to controlled ambient air longer than necessary.

“We found that a small number of iPhone 6S devices made in September and October 2015 contained a battery component that was exposed to controlled ambient air longer than it should have been before being assembled into battery packs,” Apple said in a statement.

“As a result, these batteries degrade faster than a normal battery and cause unexpected shutdowns to occur,” it said, adding that it is “not a safety issue.”

“To help our customers who are experiencing this issue, we are replacing batteries in affected devices, free of charge,” the statement said.

Apple suggested iPhone 6S owners, who want to know if their devices may shut down, type in the serial number on the iPhone 6S Program for Unexpected Shutdown Issues webpage.

It said iPhone is designed to shut automatically under certain conditions, such as extremely cold temperature, to protect the phone’s electronics from low voltage.

Apple’s statement came one day after Shanghai’s consumer rights protection commission made public the number of complaints, including several battery explosions, against Apple in the city this year.

The commission said it had received 1,221 complaints about Apple in the two months to November 30, which was nearly six times higher than the same period of last year.

The major problems reported were unexpected power-off issues, batteries combusting and stolen accounts, it said.

It said eight consumers had complained in the October-November period that their iPhones had suddenly combusted.

The China Consumers Association and the Shanghai commission have both asked Apple to provide solutions to consumers, saying unexpected power-off has also been found in iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6S Plus models, as well as on some other iPhone 6S models that were not made between September and October 2015.

Apple is now offering free battery replacement for iPhone 6S made between September and October 2015.

Shanghai Daily

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