Tech analysts and angry customers have reported in recent days that operating system updates had caused older iPhones to slow considerably, with some suggesting that Apple could be using the tactic to encourage fans to buy new phones.
They were reacting to Apple’s statement on Wednesday (Dec 20) – in response to a claim by an app company at the beginning of this week – that it had introduced a software feature in 2016 to prevent phones from unexpectedly shutting down. But according to Apple, its measure is meant to prevent unexpected shutdowns when their phones attempt to draw more power than the battery can deliver when you’re running a CPU-intensive process.
Apple has confirmed that when it comes to older iPhones, the company does slow down performance over time in order to conserve the aging battery life.
For instance, Todd Haselton at CNBC says Apple should replace iPhone batteries at no charge as to guarantee users a “certain level of performance for the lifetime of a product”.
As such, Apple says that a year ago, they released a feature for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE created to smooth out instantaneous peaks when needed to prevent shutdowns during such conditions.
Apple retroactively announcing the battery/performance balancing tactic certainly doesn’t look good in terms of a PR standpoint, either. Lithium-ion becomes less capable after hundreds of charges, which can result in phones randomly shutting down. I don’t think I need to tell you how much it costs to upgrade your phone to a new one. In other words, they slow the device to preserve the battery.
“It’s not right”, he said, referring to Apple’s throttling of the processor.
Extended to the iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, the “feature” will spread to “other products in the future”, basically aiming to “prolong the life” of your iDevices… at the expense of overall performance.
Apple charges £79 ($79) to replace batteries not covered under the phone’s warranty.
What do you make of this development? Apple absolutely should not be quietly throttling performance to keep people from asking questions. There has been a lot of speculation on the findings, but Apple remained quiet until this morning, when it released a statement to TechCrunch confirming the results. “It’s a trade-off between unexpected device crashes and lower maintained performance without crashes”. It took the choice away from users, and made loyal customers feel like they were being paranoid. There is no phone company that has solved the problems that Apple faces, although they may have different solutions to these problems.
Maybe this will be a wake-up call to Cupertino that sometimes transparency might serve it better than secrecy.