Apple Admits To Slowing Older Phones Because Of Battery Issues

Leigh Mccormick
December 22, 2017

Apple issued a statement Thursday saying the company has used software updates to limit older model iPhones' performance.

To deal with the problem, Apple's iOS software updates, starting with last year's iOS 10.2.1, included better power management capabilities.

Apple has been intentionally slowing down older iPhones, and some of its users aren't happy about it. Apple charges $79 to replace batteries not covered under the phone's warranty. But if a new battery will restore their phones, how many people will buy a new iPhone just because their old iPhone is starting to feel like it can't keep up? User TeckFire explained that they were able to get their 6S running at its original speed simply by replacing the battery, prompting other users to speculate about exactly why a battery swap did the trick.

The confession comes after a blog post proved older iPhones deteriorating on newer operating systems. Apple didn't say exactly what the threshold is for slowing down a device, but battery life rated as "Poor" or worse is likely to be a problem.

According to the spokesperson, the company released a feature previous year for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE that is created to "smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down".

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You can buy a new iPhone 6 battery for as little as $US20, if you're willing to do surgery on your phone.

Apple said it released software past year that makes those models operate more slowly to countervail problems with their aging lithium ion batteries, which can sometimes cause operational problems or cause phones to unexpectedly shut down. It introduced it with iOS 11.2 for the iPhone 7.

"Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices", a spokesperson for Apple said. That would obviously incentivize people to invest in the new, much speedier device.

We've always known that batteries wear down with time. "When your battery is degrading, you have the choice of either living with a slightly slower operation of the phone, or changing the battery", he said.

Now that degrading battery performance with time is in the spotlight - and has been linked to sluggish performance - will that impact iPhone sales? The reports are particularly troubling because any perceived slowdowns by iPhone users might tempt owners to upgrade their entire device instead of replace the battery.

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