Cheap cellphone battery could come with high price

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7 On Your Side looks into what the major drawbacks are of purchasing a cheap cellphone battery.

Something you should know about your cellphone -- the battery inside can only be recharged a limited number of times.

A San Jose man tried to replace his worn out battery, but what he got was a lot less than what he expected. So 7 On Your Side looked into this cautionary tale that's a good one for all of us to keep in mind.

The battery you buy at a great price could come with an unwanted surprise.

Karl Hennig is like a lot of us. He spends a lot of his time on his smartphone. Then he noticed his battery's life for his iPhone getting shorter and shorter.

He said, "It was time for a new battery. The phone technically worked, but the battery didn't hold as much charge as it used to. So I needed a new one."

Hennig went online and found batteries for sale in marketplace significantly cheaper than the $79 charged by Apple. He bought two from an individual seller on New Egg's marketplace, one for himself and one for his wife.

"And they didn't look new, some of the writing on the batteries, some of the lettering was kind of rubbed off," Hennig said.

The software engineer ran a diagnostic test on the batteries. His suspicions were confirmed.

"It showed me that not only was the battery used, it was actually more used than the battery I had in the phone originally," he said.

The test determined the number of times the battery had been charged. The results showed the battery had been charged 415 times. This battery was likely more than a year old.

"I was pretty irritated because I opened my phone up. I risked making a mistake and damaging my phone," Hennig said.

He went to the Apple store and the employees at the Genius Bar ran their own tests on the battery and reached the same conclusion. He had purchased used batteries.

"I would have been better off not buying the battery, not opening the phone, and not doing anything," Hennig said.

Turns out Hennig may not be the only person who has experienced this YouTube video from an Apple part retailer,, was posted on YouTube.

You Tube: "This seemingly brand new battery has a cycle count of 546. If you charge that every single day, that's over 18 months' worth of charges."

Hennig brought his complaint to New Egg where he purchased his battery and it refunded him under its free Google trusted stores program. The scary thing for Hennig is most consumers wouldn't be able to tell a new battery from a used one.

"Most people wouldn't know on their own. They would just use it and if the phone powers up, they wouldn't know any things different than have a new battery," Hennig said.

Before making a purchase, you might want to just ask if the battery is new or used, but even then, it would be difficult to tell if someone is telling the truth.
Related Topics:
technology7 On Your Sideconsumercellphoneconsumer concernsonline shoppingsave moneyiphonesmartphonesappleSan Jose
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