Apple has decided to come clean with it -- it really is slowing down the processing performance of older iPhones (as previously suspected by Redditors and Geekbench), but the tech giant is doing it to prevent more (and potentially worse) battery problems down the road. In an official statement made available to TechCrunch, the company admitted that it had rolled out a software patch a year ago that causes old iPhone units to operate more slowly. The basic idea here is that by reducing the processing speed, the old battery gets to handle a lesser load.
Just like any other product out there, smartphone batteries are subject to wear and tear over time. In the case of iPhone batteries, they also lose their capacity after many years of use, and may even exhibit more serious issues when they are not charged enough or when they are used in cold climates.
Last year, some owners of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s units complained of slowed processing performance, and a few even reported that their devices had unexpectedly shut down. What happened was that the chips utilized by those iPhones were capable of achieving faster processing speeds, but as it turned out, their aging batteries just could not handle all that load. This led to handsets shutting themselves down.
Of course, Apple only wanted to fix this. So it put a software feature in last year’s iOS 10.2.1 deployment, plus a functionality that facilitates improved power management. As for the software feature, it works by slowing down the iPhone’s processing performance so that it will not shut itself down because it can no longer handle the load. Apple claims that the feature will only kick in if the battery is old, not sufficiently charged, and used in cold temperatures.
Through the iOS 10.2.1 deployment, this software feature landed on iPhone models such as the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 6s Plus, and the iPhone SE. As for owners of iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus devices, they need to know that via the iOS 11.2 deployment more than a couple of weeks ago, that same software feature is now on iPhone 7 models as well. Moreover, all other Apple made handsets are expected to get the feature some time in the future.
No doubt about it, this revelation from Apple will elicit all sorts of reactions from its users. But for those who do not want to worry about it, they can just opt to replace their old battery with a new one, that is, if they are willing to pay eighty bucks (for iPhones not covered by a warranty).
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