We have all long suspected this to be the case, and yesterday, Apple came clean and admitted they do indeed purposely slow down older iPhones via software updates.
This came to light after various reports in the tech media recently noticed that battery life on older iPhones can have a significant performance impact on the phone. Then earlier this week, a developer shared test results on Reddit which pointed to recent software changes in iOS to prevent older iPhones shutting down, was resolved by artificially maxing out performance on older iPhones to prevent too much power draw on degraded batteries.
Apple released a statement yesterday in response to these reports –
Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. 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”
So, in essence, Apple is saying they had to do this otherwise your older iPhone with a degraded battery would keep shutting down. It’s for your own benefit, we promise! There is logic to this argument from Apple, but the manner in which it has come to light will mean many people will be slightly bemused and not entirely convinced with Apple’s reasoning.
How to Check the Status of Your Battery
You can download a free app called Battery Life which displays various data about the health of your iPhone. If the results show your battery performance is degraded then replacing the battery with a new one will dramatically improve performance according to the various reports. First check with your phone provider if your phone is still under warranty, as this will mean a new battery can be fitted free of charge.
Is There a Silver Lining to this?
The good news with all of this is that if you do own an older iPhone which has slowed down significantly lately, then replacing the battery could well solve this problem. So no need to spend all that hard earned cash on a new iPhone after all!