Cupertino based tech giant Apple has made headlines lately, but for the wrong reason. The company has been accused of deliberately throttling down performance of old iPhones, in particular, the iPhone 6s, to force customers into buying new iPhone. This throttling down has been confirmed by a lot of customers on Reddit, and, the solution to this has turned out to be simple battery replacement. Something that has been confirmed by Geekbench developer John Poole as well. However, Apple has now released a statement to clear the confusion.
Well, the thing is that users with old iPhones having old batteries were reporting performance slow down, however, this was fixed when they replaced the battery on their iPhones with a new one. To dig more into the details, Geekbench developer John Poole conducted some tests and found out that the iPhones with older batteries were indeed throttled down. This added fuel to the conspiracy theory that Apple deliberately slows down old iPhones to force customers into buying new one.
However, Apple in a statement to TechCrunch has confirmed that Poole’s findings are true and it does indeed throttle performance on old iPhones with older batteries, but, that’s done to prevent unexpected shut down of the iPhone that can be caused by quick peaks of power draw, which can ultimately result in damaged phone components.
The thing is that demanding tasks like playing games or opening 3D applications need a lot of battery power, which causes quick peaks of power draw, however, as the batteries are older, they are unable to retain charge and supply the same to the processor, which can result in unexpected shut downs. Hence, to conserve battery, Apple is relying on power management by capping the power supply or spreading power requests over multiple cycles.
If you don’t play a lot of games or open 3D applications or do almost anything that would require a lot of battery power, you might not even notice this slow down. This is why users are reporting uptick in performance as soon as they are replacing older batteries with new one on their old iPhones, because new batteries can retain the charge very well which also reduces the chances of unexpected shut down. As a result, the quick peaks of power supply aren’t spread over multiple cycles, and hence, no slow down either.
“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.” said Apple 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.” Apple further added.
So as you can see, this is actually a battery issue, and not some conspiracy of forcing customers into buying new iPhone. However, we believe Apple should have been much more vocal about this “feature” and been transparent with what it’s doing.
Also, Apple can probably come up with a way to let iPhone users know that its time to replace their phone batteries. Moreover, Apple should also reveal such “features” right when it rolls them out, instead of talking about them in a statement to media when everyone cries foul.