Apple admits to slowing down older iPhones & S'poreans aren't buying the reason

Perhaps the surprise from some quarters comes from them *actually* admitting it.

Fasiha Nazren | December 22, 2017, 12:43 PM

Users of older iPhone models, such as the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S and iPhone SE might have noticed a slower performance after updates to the iOS.

There's at least one Reddit thread discussing whether Apple slows down the performance for older iPhone models which have lower-performing batteries, as compared to newer models like the iPhone X and iPhone 8.

Some even theorised that Apple times its throttling to coincide with the release of a new range of phones.

Apple confirms performance slowdown

Finally, on Wednesday, Dec. 20, Apple confirmed that they indeed made some changes to the iOS to manage the batteries in older devices.

Here's their statement reported in various tech sites including 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."

In summary, Apple is saying it slows the performance on phones with ageing lithium-ion batteries to help prevent unexpected shutdowns, which happens often if the batteries are old or cold.

Singaporeans aren't buying it

Some are shocked, while others aren't, but the current consensus among Singaporeans, iPhone users or not, is that Apple has been doing this to encourage users to upgrade to newer phones.


How to prevent slow-performing phones?

Now, if buying a new iPhone is too expensive for you (because a contract-less iPhone 8 costs S$1,148, by the way #justsayin), there is a cheaper alternative: replace the battery.

According to this Reddit user, you can either:

  1. Replace the battery at any authorised Apple service centre.
  2. Purchase a new battery and replace it yourself, but at the risk of a voided warranty. iPhone repair kits and battery bundles are easily available online.

Otherwise, you can wait for your mobile contract to end, then get the latest model, which is what a lot of Singaporeans normally do anyway.


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Top image: screenshot via Apple's website