Amid endless conspiracy theories that Apple deliberately slows down old phones to force customers to buy new ones, the tech giant has issued a rare admission and explanation.
While Apple admitted its software updates have considerably slowed the speed of older iPhones, the reason behind the move is not what angry customers suspected.
Lithium-ion batteries, degrading over time, may be causing phones to unexpectedly shut down in a self-protective mode, something Apple claims its updates are aimed at preventing, according to Business Insider. The limiting of the peak performance of the iPhone’s processor because of Apple’s control of how much power the processor can draw ends up slowing down the phones while preventing a sudden shut down.
“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,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
But the updates come at the cost of disappointingly slower speeds.
A Reddit post last week ignited a wave of discussions about the performance of iPhones with older batteries, leading a developer with Geekbench to run performance tests that confirmed the claims.
Many iPhone users were not happy with the slowdowns – and even less happy that Apple admitted the reason behind the problem.
“I think users who experience significant slowdowns due to battery wear would want Apple to be more transparent about this issue,” John Poole said, according to TechCrunch. “A notification stating that the battery needs service would be a simple way to reduce users’ concerns and help them address this problem.
There was an outcry on Twitter over the revelations as users reacted to Apple’s statement.
Since Apple admits they slow down old iPhones I’ll admit I probably won’t buy a new iPhone
— Jeff Zenisek (@jeffzenisek) December 21, 2017
I know people that never had a problem until the update
— TOM C (@AmericanSon_USA) December 21, 2017
My response (since many asked for it): Apple throttling iPhone performance to preserve battery life is fine, BUT keeping it a secret and letting owners believe the solution is to spend $700-$1,150 (new iPhone), not $79 (new battery) is appalling and environmentally irresponsible.
— Gordon Kelly (@GordonKelly) December 20, 2017
“Apple: Yes, we’re slowing down older iPhones”
Just, WOW! Kudos for the admission but – WTF?!? @Apple @AppleSupport https://t.co/yRGSOlFfpJ
— Rosemary Lafreniere (@RoseMLafreniere) December 21, 2017
Why not just give the owners the opportunity to get new batteries! Very disappointing, I have already moved to Pixel 2
— Allan Swanepoel (@swanepoelallan) December 21, 2017
Absolutly unacceptable for the amount if money we all pay to have their phones and aervice. I too will be making the switch. Starting today.
— Tammys Cleaners (@TammysCleaners) December 21, 2017
Dear iPhone, it would be greatly appreciated if y’all got this whole battery life situation figured out
— Ian Goff⚾️ (@ianpuma29) December 19, 2017
Apple just admitted to deliberately slowing down old iPhones in iOS updates to “preserve their battery life.”
Hey @Apple, are you sure it isn’t a gimmick to get us to buy a new iPhone every year? ?
— PROUD RESISTER ? (@ProudResister) December 21, 2017
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