Apple has said that a few iPhone 6S smartphones are unexpectedly shutting down, confirming a problem reported last week by a Chinese consumer protection group.

The company said the problem is restricted to a small number of phones within a limited serial number range that were manufactured between September and October last year.

Apple said it was not a safety issue, and appeared to suggest that the problem would be resolved by a replacement battery, which the company offered free. It did not say how many iPhone 6S phones were affected and in which markets.

The China Consumers Association asked Apple to investigate problems with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S phones that were automatically shutting off. The unexpected shutdowns were said to happen when the phone’s battery charge dropped to between 60 and 50 percent.

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