It’s long been suspected by users and today it was confirmed: Apple deliberately slows down some of its iPhone models as they age.
Citing the fact batteries diminish over time regardless of interference , the tech giant said it was always striving to give customers the best experience.
Apple said it wanted to “prolong the life” of customers’ devices.
— BIZBoost™ 🚀 (@BIZBoost) 21 December 2017
The practice was confirmed after a customer shared performance tests on Reddit, suggesting their iPhone 6S had slowed down considerably as it had aged but had suddenly sped up again after the battery had been replaced.
“I used my brother’s iPhone 6 Plus, and his was faster than mine? This is when I knew something was wrong,” wrote TeckFire.
Technology website Geekbench then analysed several iPhones running versions of the iOS operating system and found some of them did indeed appear to have been deliberately slowed down.
Apple has now confirmed that it made changes to iOS to manage ageing lithium-ion batteries in some devices, since the batteries diminish over time.
“Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, [when they] 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.
“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.
“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers.”
Replacing an old battery in one of the affected models should return the phone to its former speed. Doing so costs £79 in the UK and $79 (£59) in the US.