Apple admits it's slowing down your old iPhone

Allan Goodman
December 26, 2017

Instead of possibly getting to a point where your old iPhone shuts down to "protect its electronic components" due to the advanced age or low temperature of its battery, Apple is looking to prevent such flaws from ever developing... by preemptively putting a cap on your CPU prowess.

They were reacting to Apple's statement on Wednesday (Dec 20) - in response to a claim by an app company at the beginning of this week - that it had introduced a software feature in 2016 to prevent phones from unexpectedly shutting down.

"Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices", said Apple, in a statement sent to media outlets including TechCrunch, BuzzFeed News and The Verge. But it certainly does not prove conspiracy theories that Apple is doing so to force people to buy a new iPhone.

It's been deliberately cranking down the CPU speeds to address problems that crop up from a device's aging battery, Apple said on Wednesday.

Geekbench founder John Poole reported earlier this week decreasing processor performance on older iPhone models, likely caused by iOS. "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. We've now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future. Futuremark, a Finnish benchmarking company, published a study in October which concluded that Apple does not throttle older devices and that it "actually does a good job of supporting its older devices with regular updates that maintain a consistent level of performance across iOS versions".

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One solution to a faster working iPhone could be purchasing a new battery rather than an entire new phone.

In a statement this afternoon, Apple explained that this "feature" was first implemented with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE past year and most recently came to the iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2.

Apple charges £79 ($79) to replace batteries not covered under the phone's warranty.

So, if you think your phone isn't performing at its best, or want to refresh an old phone, try replacing its battery. And customers who get their batteries replaced will see the problem resolved.

We knew it all along.

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