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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Older iPhones getting slower? Apple confirms it is managing ‘peak performance’

Apple confirmed that when it comes to older iPhones, the company does slow down performance over time in order to conserve the aging battery life.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: December 21, 2017 4:36:31 pm
Apple iPhone 6s, iPhone 7 battery performance slowing down Apple has admitted it slows down performance of older iPhones, including iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 in order to preserve battery life. (File photo. Image source: AP)

Apple has confirmed that when it comes to older iPhones, the company does slow down performance over time in order to conserve the aging battery life. Apple issued a statement to TechCrunch and The Verge saying, “Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices.” Apple has also issued this statement to the indianexpress.com

It adds the company has pushed out features to manage ” instantaneous peaks” on aging batteries in order to deal with issue of unexpected shutdowns. This was done on iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE, and now the iPhone 7, confirms Apple. Apple’s statement says, “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,” it goes on to add.

The whole issue of Apple deliberately slowing down performance for older iPhones came to light after posts on Reddit earlier this month. Then GeekBench’s John Poole also posted data to show how Apple was “throttling” the performance of old iPhones. For those who have not followed the controversy, the charge that Poole made in his now viral post, was this: Apple iPhone 6, 6s, iPhone 7 performance in GeekBench scores showed a fluctuation in performance depending on the iOS update. It looked like the company was deliberately slowing down devices.

With Apple iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, iOS 10.1.2 update was the one that brought this change in performance; in case of the iPhone 7 it was the iOS 11.2 update. Poole’s point was the issue of slowing performance was not just related to aging battery life. He argued it might confuse users into thinking their iPhone needed to be upgraded, since the performance had slowed down.

Now, Apple has admitted it does control peak performance on older devices, but it says this is done to manage the overall battery life. Apple iPhone 6s devices were facing unexpected shutdown issues all of 2016. The company had later introduced a battery replacement program for some iPhone 6s devices and users who had got the change done, had seen the issue go away. However, others continued facing the problem, even with battery replacement, and again this is also a part of Reddit discussions.

Apple statement seems to indicate this particular software push will prolong the overall life of the device, which is different from what Poole’s post implied about forced upgrades. Interestingly, the so called slowing down of performance comes in affect in case of cold temperature, a low battery charge, or an aged battery.

However, Apple’s response does confirm that users on these devices should expect slower overall performance, post the latest iOS updates, at least not the peak performance that some benchmark tests might demand.

Of course, Lithium-ion batteries will degrade after some time and in the iPhone’s case this was resulting in random shutdowns. In fact, the battery degradation issue is not just limited to Apple’s iPhones, but to all smartphones in the market. However, Apple’s approach of “smoothing out the instantaneous peaks” of performance on these older devices will likely face criticism from some users. For many the statement confirms, that yes, Apple does slow down your older iPhone. Now whether one should upgrade every year for this reason, will fall down to the individual customer.

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