Apple admits slowing older iPhones to prevent unexpected shutdowns
We had recently reported how Reddit users had noticed that Apple is intentionally slowing down older iPhones through new iOS software updates. In fact, iPhone owners discovered that replacing the battery in an old phone can boost its speed.
The Cupertino giant on Wednesday confirmed that it is slowing down older iPhones to prevent them from shutting down and “smooth out” battery usage to meet peak demands.
Apple’s statement followed a study by Geekbench developer John Poole which backed up Reddit users claims that Apple curbs the speed of aging iPhones. So, Poole used Geekbench’s benchmarking testing to find out
He carried out single-core tests on iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 units running different versions of iOS. According to his findings, Apple has made a tweak in iOS 10.2.1 to 11.2.0 that appears to throttle the iPhone’s performance when the smartphone’s “battery condition decreases past a certain point,” Poole said.
Pointing out a Reddit user, who goes by the handle “kadupse,” Poole said that the user had the most likely explanation: “Because degraded batteries last much less and end up with a lower voltage Apple’s solution was to scale down CPU performance, it doesn’t solve anything and is a bad experience… but it’s better than having your device shutdown at 40% when you need it the most.”
While Apple hasn’t provided any information behind when the CPU throttling exactly sets in, it although in a statement sent to TechCrunch, Apple said, “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.”