It had long been a conspiracy theory that Apple intentionally slowed down older iPhones with an iOS update, to get customers to buy a newer model. In light of recent reports that contained sufficient evidence, Apple confirmed that it does do this but offered a different explanation.
“About a year ago in iOS 10.2.1, we delivered a software update that improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE. With the update, iOS dynamically manages the maximum performance of some system components when needed to prevent a shutdown. While these changes may go unnoticed, in some cases users may experience longer launch times for apps and other reductions in performance,” Apple said on its website. “We recently extended the same support for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in iOS 11.2.”
Apple said, as the phones’ batteries naturally degrade with use, they become able to output less power, leading the phone to unexpectedly shut off when the processor fires up to a high and demanding speed. Apple limited the phones’ processor speed in iOS 10.2.1 to prevent those shutdowns, but in the process, also limited how fast a phone can get. It did so in the iOS updates without making it clear to users.
Two of the biggest Android phone makers – Samsung and LG – have just confirmed that they do not slow down phones with older batteries, a tactic that Apple has admitted it uses on some iPhones with aging batteries to prevent them from unexpected shutdowns.
In response to PhoneArena, Samsung and LG denied ever reducing the speed of the processor in its phones and LG explicitly committed it “never will” slow down its phones.
Samsung said: “Product quality has been and will always be Samsung Mobile’s top priority. We ensure extended battery life of Samsung mobile devices through multi-layer safety measures, which include software algorithms that govern the battery charging current and charging duration. We do not reduce CPU performance through software updates over the lifecycles of the phone.”
HTC and Motorola also said that they don’t throttle their phones’ processor speeds as their batteries age.
The Verge reported: An HTC spokesperson said that designing phones to slow down their processor as their battery ages “is not something we do.” A Motorola spokesperson said, “We do not throttle CPU performance based on older batteries.”
Apple is currently facing multiple lawsuits after admitting to slowing down iPhones as their batteries age.
Some customers are unhappy as the company has been less than transparent about the performance throttling feature, which they see as a ploy to drive sales of new handsets.
The lawsuits, eight of them in the United States – filed in U.S. District Courts in California, New York and Illinois – seek class-action to represent potentially millions of iPhone owners nationwide. A similar class action lawsuit has also been filed in Israel for £93m, the newspaper Haaretz reported on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Apple has apologized for slowing down users iPhones without their knowledge and now offers a new battery replacement program with the price of the replacement reduced by $50, down to $29. However Apple didn’t make it clear that replacing an iPhone’s battery could resolve this issue and improve performance of the older iPhones.