December 21, 2017

Apple Confirms: We Are Purposely Slowing Down iPhones With Older Batteries – But Why?

Yes, Apple confirmed that it has pushed an update to decrease the performance of its older devices. But, why would Apple do that to its customers? what could be the reason behind such updates?


Apple told Techcrunch that it is focusing on smooth peak current demands that can cause problems with older batteries.

“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.”

“Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future,” Apple said.


Geekbench, a cross-platform processor benchmark which measures the performance of a hardware conducted an iPhone performance and battery age test based on a Reddit post which accuses Apple of deliberately slowing down the phones with low capacity batteries with updates.

According to findings of Geekbench’s John Pool, the reports of iPhone slowing sown will continue to increase as iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 continue to age. But the thing is we expect battery capacity to decrease as batteries age, while the processor performance to stay the same. Right? But many users reported that replacing the battery increased the benchmark score along with the performance of the phone. Confusing, eh?

To know what’s happening the benchmark site has plotted the kernel density of Geekbench 4 single-core scores for iPhone 6s and 7 running different versions of iOS. As per the plot of iOS 10.2.0, the plot of iPhone 6s appears to unimodal, with a peak around average score. For iOS 10.2.1 and iOS 11.2.0, there are larger peaks around the lower scores. iPhone 7 has the same case.

“The difference between 10.2.0 and 10.2.1 is too abrupt to be just a function of battery condition.” According to Geekbench, “Apple introduced a change to limit performance when battery condition decreases past a certain point.” Apple scale down the performance to address another issue which is the sudden shutdown of the battery issue that affected the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s earlier this year.

Apple might have released updates to address the battery life problem. But such updates reducing the performance of the phone without intimating the users will definitely make the users think that “my phone is slow so I should replace it” not, “my phone is slow so I should replace its battery”. We can not blame the users misinterpreting the intentions of Apple.

Did you notice any change in the performance level of your iPhone with software updates? Share your experience in the comments below!


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