Best Buy worker thinks Apple may be giving the good phones to people who buy AppleCare so they don’t have to use it

DW labs Incorporated/Adobe Stock @dallas_ponzo/TikTok (Licensed)

‘So shifty’: Best Buy worker thinks Apple may be changing battery stats on iPhones that have AppleCare

‘I didn’t have AppleCare on that phone.’


Braden Bjella


Battery life is a chief complaint of smartphone users. According to a 2018 study by YouGov, increased battery life was cited by 41% percent of respondents as the feature they would most like their smartphone to have.

Despite this, the battery life on some smartphones is still a limiting factor. Thankfully, some companies have put into place policies that allow users to replace their phones when battery life becomes an issue.

For example, an “iPhone is eligible for a battery replacement at no additional cost if you have AppleCare+ and your product’s battery holds less than 80 percent of its original capacity,” per the company’s website.

However, this has led one Best Buy worker to put forth a conspiracy: is Apple faking its battery percentages on phones with AppleCare+ to avoid doing battery replacements?

The Apple battery life conspiracy

In a video with over 977,000 views, TikTok user Dallas (@dallas_ponzo), who recently sparked discussion after recounting an experience he had with a lengthy data transfer, lays out the theory based on his personal experience.

“I got an iPhone 13 Pro Max [in] December 2021…My battery has been steadily degrading on it since I got it, pretty much down to 80 percent,” he explains. “January of this year is when it hit that 80 percent mark and it hasn’t gone below it since. It’s now July.”

When he ran a diagnostic test while at work at Best Buy, he found that the phone had 882 charge cycles. This struck him as odd, as “batteries of iPhone 14 models and earlier are designed to retain 80% of their original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles under ideal conditions,” per Apple’s website.

While Dallas was able to perform a battery replacement for $99, it got him thinking about a previous iPhone that wasn’t covered under AppleCare.

“My old phone, I had an iPhone XS Max. That battery was at 76 after I was done using it. I didn’t have AppleCare on that phone,” he details. “My iPhone 13 Pro Max, I do have AppleCare on. I have had it since I got it, and the battery hasn’t dropped below 80, and the reason that’s significant is because Apple refuses to do any battery swap unless it’s below the 80 maximum capacity mark.”

Although he admits he’s “probably overthinking it,” he says he is suspicious that his phone that has a battery that would be replaced if it went under 80% never seemed to dip below that number, while his other phone that did not have AppleCare did.


Getting my $13.49 a month’s worth

♬ original sound – Dallas

Commenters call out Apple

Several commenters allege that they’ve experienced something similar, while others accused Apple of manipulating the information on the smartphone.

“What if… Apple somehow manipulates the software if you are still in warranty or have Apple care?” asked a user.

“My battery health was dropping fast suddenly after 6 months. I contact Apple they say it has to be blow 80% for a replacement. At 9 months It was at 81. Right out of warranty it dropped to 73%,” stated another.

“Mines also been at 80 for more than 6 months. I also have a 13 pro max,” shared a third.

The Daily Dot reached out to Apple via email and Dallas via Instagram comment and direct message.

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