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Apple says iPhone 6S battery issue bigger than first thought

A customer checks an iPhone 6s at an Apple store.
Chesnot | Getty Images
A customer checks an iPhone 6s at an Apple store.

Apple's iPhone 6S battery issue is larger than the company first thought.

The problem: iPhone 6S devices that shut down the phones abruptly. After announcing an exchange program last month for certain phones, Apple said Tuesday that the issue may extend beyond phones manufactured in September or October of 2015.

"A small number of customers outside of the affected range have also reported an unexpected shutdown," wrote the iPhone maker in a posting on the company's Chinese support page. Apple notes that some phones shut down "under normal conditions in order for the iPhone to protect its electronics," but that it would be releasing a software update next week to garner more information. It is also exploring a possible software fix which would be deployed in a future version of iOS.

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Apple declined to comment on how many phones are impacted or if the issue extended to other devices such as the iPhone 6S Plus.

The problem stems from a component in the battery that was "exposed to controlled ambient air" for a longer period of time than it should have been before it was put into the battery packs.

Those with iPhone 6S phones that they feel have been having issues can go to their local Apple Store or an authorized service provider, the small repair shops with the stickers that say they're authorized by Apple as well as retailers such as Best Buy. If it is determined that your phone is one of the affected units, the company will swap out the battery free of charge. Users can also enter their phone's serial number onto the company's support page to see if their phone is one of the bad ones.

Apple is the latest major tech company to suffer from battery issues. Samsung notably recalled and cancelled its Galaxy Note 7 phone this fall after numerous devices saw their batteries catch fire or explode. There have thus far been no reports of similar issues from the iPhone 6S.