By Ayush Ailawadi
Apple admitted that it slows down its old iPhones to help users get the most out of their batteries. The fix may be simple: just change the battery.
That’s what John Poole, a developer at processor benchmark and scoring platform Geekbench, told BloombergQuint in an interaction. What’s most surprising is that the phones started performing at their peak again once the battery was replaced, he said. That’s the real solution, not changing the phone, something that Apple never informed its customers about, he said.
Two California residents—Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas—brought a class-action lawsuit against the technology giant after it admitted to slow down the iPhones, according to a company filing. That comes a week after a Reddit post about how Apple slowed down old iPhones that have low-capacity batteries went viral.
Poole had looked for the proof himself. He mapped out the performance of an iPhone 6s and iPhone 7 over time and concluded that iOS updates 10.2.1 and 11.2.0 introduced a slow-down in the respective models. His research revealed that the performance charts for the iPhone 7 with the iOS 11.2.0 update look similar to the iPhone 6s with the 10.2.1 update.
Apple said it had a reason for it. “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,” it said in an emailed reply to BloombergQuint. “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.”
What should you Do?
As a last piece of advice, Poole said users should not stop updating their iOS as it contains the latest security patches and bug fixes.
A big caveat when it comes to the battery replacement though. Apple has made it difficult to open iPhones, but it does offer some options on its website. If your iPhone needs battery replacement and it’s not covered under the Apple care package, the service fee is $79, that’s about Rs 5,000. If you were to get a third-party replacement, it could cost as little as Rs 1,500, but that would void the warranty on your device.
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