Earlier last week, a multitude of user reports had emerged discussing how replacing your aging iPhone’s battery could potentially resolve its performance woes. It didn’t, unfortunately for a majority of owners. The issue largely impacted older generation phones such as the iPhone 6 and 6S which previously had suffered a pesky bug that caused early shuts down. The bug was later fixed through an over-the-air update which apparently slowed down iPhones to avoid voltage drains on the degraded battery.
Update: Apple confirms it slows down older iPhones
However, these accusations did not have any analytical or official base… until today. Geekbench founder, John Poole claims that Apple has been throttling your iPhone’s performance so that it doesn’t die at unusual levels. Through a series of tests performed on the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 7 running different iOS versions, Poole discovered that Apple has introduced a separate mode which becomes active when the battery begins to deteriorate.
As per the graphs which Geekbench deciphered, Apple seems to have added the new state through the iOS 10.2.1 update on the 6S and iOS 11.2.0 on the iPhone 7. The inconsistencies in frequencies of the chart represent the times during which the test iPhone went into the state. The change essentially “masks a deficiency in battery power” by limiting the performance. If Apple hadn’t done so, your old iPhone would have continued to shut down on irregular intervals like the infamous 40%.
However, Apple didn’t notify their users or mentioned this in the changelogs. As a result, iPhone owners were under the impression that their phone was just not powerful enough to handle the new update. Instead, it’s related to the battery. “This fix will also cause users to think, “my phone is slow so I should replace it” not, “my phone is slow so I should replace its battery”. This will likely feed into the “planned obsolescence” narrative.”, added John in his blog post.
These performance and battery issues have remained one of the key factors in users upgrading their iPhone. However, the lack of acknowledgment by Apple could lead to a public outrage. That’s mainly because if the company had not added the state, users could have lived with their existing iPhone by simply getting the battery replaced. Apple, sadly, officially never released a statement on this (and still hasn’t), neither offered an option to users to decide for themselves.