Yes, Apple Is Slowing Down Your Older iPhone

Don't worry, it's for legit reasons (or is it?)

December 21, 2017 9:00 am

Someone should tell you when you’re slowing down.

And that includes your phone company.

Turns out a long-held theory that Apple purposely throttles earlier models of their phones (so you’d buy a new one) is actually sort of true.

To recap: Last week a user on Reddit claimed his iPhone 6S had been running slow, and noted that replacing the battery ramped the speed back up.  A little digging and a few tests later confirmed his suspicions. Apple felt the need to respond.

Apple’s official response, as relayed to TechCrunch:

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.

Basically, Apple was doing some behind-the-scenes power management to iPhones with aging batteries to “smooth out” issues causing the phones to shut down. And they plan to continue doing this as new iOS releases come out and newer, more powerful models of the iPhone debut.

That might be a legit reason. Telling people after the fact and only because you got called out? Kind of shifty. Especially since replacing batteries on an iPhone isn’t the easiest task in the world.

Possible solution? Give every iPhone user one free battery change after two years (right now, you have a one-year warranty for defective batteries, with a cost of $79 + shipping to get a new one after that).

And be transparent about you do behind the scenes! Even if it’s not great news, transparency has been shown to help brands.

And your customers. Which is the most important thing.

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