Apple might be slowing down old iPhones

Apple might be slowing down old iPhones

"This fix will also cause users to think, "my phone is slow so I should replace it" not, "my phone is slow so I should replace its battery", as per the report.

About a week ago, a massively popular and widely circulated thread on Reddit posited that Apple purposely slows down performance on iPhones with older batteries. It discovered that the iPhone 6's score for iOS 10.2.0 appears "unimodal" (ie., doesn't change) in performance, but when it studied the iPhone 6 running iOS 10.2.1, the performance peaked around the average score and several other peaks around some of the lower scores. The company has a battery replacement program, which charges $79 to switch out the old pack in an iPhone for a new one.

After conducting a battery life study, detailed here, Geekbench developer John Poole came to the conclusion "that Apple introduced a change to limit performance when battery condition decreases past a certain point". However, it is detected in iOS 10.2.1, as well as iOS 11.2.0. Since battery life is known to degrade over time, and since reviews tend to focus on showing year-on-year improvements without filtering them through declines in battery capacity on daily drivers, typically sites either stick with phones, tablets, and laptops that don't see much use, or include "pristine" metrics alongside test figures from hardware that's been in daily use.

"First, it appears the problem is widespread, and will only get worse as phones (and their batteries) continue to age", Geekbench explained.

One Redditor showed this by having his battery replaced and performing GeekBench tests before and after the battery was replaced. Why did Apple do this?


To our knowledge, the iPhone 7 never exhibited the same glitchy behavior as the 6s, so Apple can't justify the abrupt drop in theoretical (and practical) CPU speed as a necessary preservation method.

It's one of those online conspiracy theories that refuses to die - the "fact" that Apple slows down old iPhones every year to make sure we all buy new ones.

Per Poole's analysis, that update apparently did not affect the iPhone 7, but iOS 11.2, released in early December, did.

He cited a Reddit user's explanation, which suggests that Apple scaled down CPU performance to combat an issue of the iPhone 6 shutting down at 40% due to degraded batteries.

As said above, the users expect their batteries to lose efficiency, but they expect their phones to have the same processing power.

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