IPhone Battery Drain: Does Apple Intentionally Slow Down Older iPhones?


Apple's point is that if an iPhone tries to draw more power than the battery is capable of, it will suddenly shut down, as many did before last year's update.

Poole pointed to one Reddit user, who goes by the handle "kadupse", who has 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".

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". This affects more than just the iPhone 6 and 6s; Poole analyzed the same benchmark tests on the iPhone 7, and found the same peaks in benchmarking after iOS 11.2.0.

That story inspired Geekbench developer John Poole to look through benchmark data from the iPhone 6, 6s, and iPhone 7 to see if he could confirm this battery theory or find any trends.

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For years I told people they were insane for thinking that Apple was purposely slowing down older iPhones in an effort to force customers to upgrade to a new device. Other aging Apple devices could be impacted by future updates as well. While Apple taking some sort of proactive measure to stabilize the performance of an older phone is fine, the problem here is the fact that they haven't told anyone that you are doing this. By admitting this, it also confirmed that older iPhones with older batteries can suffer from poor performance.

Apple also says iPhones work best at room temperature, or between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

"[This will cause] users to think, "my phone is slow so I should replace it" not, "my phone is slow so I should replace its battery". That absolutely makes the phone more useable - it apparently helps stop random shutdowns too, which are a major pain.

The company replaced batteries in the affected phones and launched a new system to tackle the problem. While we expect battery capacity to decrease as batteries age, we expect processor performance to stay the same. Without the cap, batteries in old iPhones would expire much faster-an issue that plagues all devices that rely upon lithium-ion batteries, not just iPhones. It's $79 if you have Apple do it, or around $70 to $50 if you have a third-party fix shop or service take care of it.