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Phil Schiller: Apple Working With Consumer Reports to Understand MacBook Pro Battery Test

Yesterday Consumer Reports revealed that Apple's 2016 MacBook Pro became the first MacBook to fail to achieve a recommendation due to inconsistent battery life. Apple SVP Phil Schiller today tweeted that the Cupertino company is working with Consumer Reports to understand the battery tests.

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"Working with [Consumer Reports] to understand their battery tests, " Schiller tweeted. "Results do not match our extensive lab tests or field data." Apple claims its internal testing has seen the new MacBook Pro providing up to 10 hours of battery life when watching iTunes movies or browsing the web.


Consumer Reports' test has come under scrutiny since publication of the non-recommendation. The tests were conducted by opening a series of 10 web pages sequentially on Safari. This tests' inconsistency had the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar registering 16 hours, 12.75 hours and 3.75 hours of battery life. A 15-inch MacBook Pro ranged from 18.5 hours to 8 hours of battery life.

When Consumer Reports tried the test with Chrome rather than Safari, it found consistently high battery life. "For this exercise, we ran two trials on each of the laptops, and found battery life to be consistently high on all six runs," the report said. Consumer Reports did not think it was enough data to draw a conclusion, though they also point out their test results only take default browsers into consideration.

Critics, like iMore's Rene Ritchie, argue that inconsistent test results require more testing to ferret out whether the issue is easily fixable, like a Safari glitch. Consumer Reports noted in its report that if Apple issues a software update that it claims will fix battery life inconsistency, they will conduct fresh tests.

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Top Rated Comments

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4 weeks ago
You mean, Apple is working with Consumer Reports to help them understand how they're using the machine wrong.

The problem isn't that Apple's power saving features don't work. They work exceptionally well, that's where 16 hours is coming from. The problem is that they work too well and the battery is undersized. The moment you load the machine down, the battery % begins to drop through the floor because the machine quite literally was not designed for that kind of use. The "time remaining" indicator only served to highlight just how fast the % was falling (since it's far more difficult for a user to gauge the remaining time left based solely on a plummeting number), which is why they got rid of it. Apple wanted snazzy specs in a thin package, and this is the end result.

If they'd built the laptop properly with sufficient battery capacity, we'd be seeing a laptop that lasts 20-30 hours (!) under light use, and 7-8 hours under heavy use. Then I don't think anyone would be complaining. ~4 hours, however, isn't much, and is pretty inexcusable for what is being sold as a premium device.

No matter how much damage control they engage in, and no matter what they say about these devices or the users, it doesn't change the fact that the design is fundamentally flawed and Apple cannot change the laws of physics.

-SC
Rating: 153 Votes
4 weeks ago
I would trust users feedback of poor battery performance in real world tests and consumer reports over Apple's biased tests.
Rating: 87 Votes
4 weeks ago
Phil and Tim, get your act together. Give the Mac some love.
Rating: 75 Votes
4 weeks ago
I hope there is a software issue Apple can fix.

However, the Bloomberg piece from a few days ago says that Apple was planning on using a sculpted battery with a higher capacity as seen in the 12" MacBook, but had to revert to a traditional design due to some fault. I stand by my belief that this was a misatake, and Apple should have delayed the product rather than implementing a smaller than designed-for battery.

Even though the Mac is only 10 percent of Apples business, it is clear it is no longer getting the same amount of attention from Apple it has historically. Which is disappointing. Apple can hire the talent to dedicate to Mac if they want to.
Rating: 71 Votes
4 weeks ago
Really sick of the growing substandard quality control and crap support from Apple. (God forbid you ever need to call AppleCare in Europe (Germany precisely). Bunches of non-native speakers who have zero idea about anything take your call and monkey around for an hour). I distinctly remember it started from the iOS 7 days. I have been a fanboy for 8 years but it's just ridiculous nowadays to try and defend the company under Tim Cook's pathetic leadership. This madness of thinner and lighter at the cost of performance charging exorbitant prices really needs to stop. I don't demand ground breaking innovation every 3 years. Just make quality products and fix the damn bugs FFS it's not that hard!
Rating: 68 Votes
4 weeks ago
apple to CR - please remove the timer for the battery testing.
Rating: 64 Votes
4 weeks ago

Phil and Tim, get your act together. Give the Mac some love.


Totally agreed.

It is so maddening that these guys are overlooking the strategic value of Mac platform in the whole Apple ecosystem.
You know the cracks are appearing when lots of Apple fans are up in arms with what is happening in Apple these days.

Many signs of imbalances within the company showed up this year. Long laundry list of actions big and small that demonstrates Apple execs are out of touch with the user base.
- languishing of Macs - be it MacBook Air, Mac mini or Mac Pro
- screwing up MacBook Pro updates
- too lazy to update iPhone 7 design (to think that this is their most important product)
- whole donglelife thing is so form over function
- killing off the Apple display
- killing off the Apple wireless routers
- removing time remaining estimate

Aaaarrrrghhh, I sense disturbance in the force!
Rating: 60 Votes
4 weeks ago
CR is the gold standard. Ignore it at your peril, and that includes Apple Inc.
Rating: 52 Votes
4 weeks ago
"C'mon guys! The check was in the mail! You couldn't have waited another day to post your review??"


(Also, lol @ Rene Ritchie. I can't go to iMore anymore. That guy has to be on Apple's PR team)
Rating: 48 Votes
4 weeks ago
Interesting that he didn't say CR is just wrong. An indication that there really is an issue, though with what we don't yet know.

It would be good to see Apple put more focus on the Mac platform and ecosystem.
Rating: 41 Votes

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