In the past week or so Apple has come under serious criticism following the revelation that they are slowing down older iPhones as the health of the battery reduces.
While many iPhone users have experienced perceived slowdowns due to iOS updates over the years, it appears that there’s now proof Apple is throttling processor speeds when a battery capacity deteriorates over time. Geekbench developer John Poole has mapped outperformance for the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 over time and has concluded that Apple’s iOS 10.2.1 and 11.2.0 updates introduce this throttling for different devices. Apple’s fix appears to be throttling the CPU to prevent the phone from randomly shutting down. Geekbench reports that iOS 11.2.0 introduces similar throttling for iPhone 7 units with older batteries.
One Twitter user confirmed that their iPhone CPU was underclocked running at 600MHz. After an iPhone battery replacement. CPU speed resumed to factory setting 1400MHz.
Following these discoveries, Apple officially confirmed they were doing this claiming that it was to prevent unexpected shutdowns due to issues with peak voltages.
To compound the problem, Apple has famously designed their phones very difficult to repair, and any attempt to fix the device yourself or via a 3rd party will completely void the warranty.
Following this backlash Apple have published a letter apologising to the public for misunderstanding that has occurred, stating that they “would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades.”
In an attempt to appease the public App have reduced the price of out-of-warranty iPhone battery replacement by $50 — from $79 to $29 — for anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be replaced, starting in late January and available worldwide through December 2018. Details will be provided soon on apple.com.
In early 2018 they will also issue an iOS software update with new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance.