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.
"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
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.
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.