Apple admits to slowing down old iPhones

Posted December 22, 2017

While Apple's approach here makes sense, the company should have been more forthright about it from the get-go; especially since iPhone users, for years on end, were told that they were insane for even suggesting that Apple would purposefully slow down older devices.

In a statement, the tech company said lithium-ion batteries become less capable of providing peak current demands in cold conditions when they have a low charge, or as they age over time.

They were reacting to Apple's statement on Wednesday - in response to a claim by an app company earlier this week - that it had introduced a software feature previous year to prevent phones from unexpectedly shutting down.

Reddit thread explains that to avoid the slowing down you can install a new battery by replacing it yourself (costs only ~$20) or taking it to Apple Store where they replace it for $79.

Apple insists the reason is not because they want you to purchase a newer model.

In a Twitter thread, developer Guilherme Rambo said that he tested the effect of Apple's iOS 10.2.1 and 11.2.0 updates on the battery life of the iPhone 6S and 7 and found an interesting secret.

iPhone users have long complained their devices seem to slow down when new models are released.

"Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices", Apple said in a statement to multiple media outlets.

Not everyone was happy with Apple's explanation, or the fact that the company called slowing down its products a feature.

But the use of a relatively new phone model from a prominent supplier like Apple provides additional evidence of heightened competition among the wireless carriers, which have been frequently updating their offers in recent weeks. "The other problem with holding back on security updates is you lose the security improvements and fixes that Apple makes with every release, thus putting you in danger of ... hackers and whatnot". Obviously, there are variations and some batteries last longer than others, but without access to data, it's hard to say whether iPhone batteries are specifically vulnerable to aging at an abnormally fast rate. In the wake of Apple's admission, some customers are criticizing the company for not being more transparent about how it handles device performance.

Q: What has Apple said on the matter?

If you think your older iPhone seems to run slower, you're not insane.