The tech giant issued a rare statement of explanation on Thursday, saying that it has used software updates to limit the performance of older iPhones and prevent them from shutting down unexpectedly.
Apple said the move was meant to reduce power demands - which can have the effect of slowing the processor - when a phone's battery is having trouble supplying the peak current that the processor demands. With the recent iOS 11.2 operating upgrade, it's extending that feature to iPhone 7 and plans to add it to future products.
Apple on Thursday copped to something users have long suspected: It slows down older iPhones.
Ms Karissa Chua, a consumer electronics consultant at Euromonitor International, said it was common for the battery, speed and performance of all smartphones to degenerate over time with every update to the operating system and apps. Like most people, you might be considering the option of replacing the phone entirely without attempting to have it checked out.
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"(But) it's a trade-off. After I updated my phone reluctantly I might add, my phone started acting very slow, but again we sounded insane when we said this was Apple's doing. "All batteries which rely on electrochemistry, not just lithium-ion ones, go through a chemical reaction and, because of this, the material and battery life degrades".
The software is said to slow down devices to keep them functional, but only when needed. She was referring to the traditional Apple reticence to share such software information.
In the Reddit post that generated intense interest in Apple's battery strategy earlier this month, a user named TeckFire reported that after noticing that different versions of the iPhone 6 series were running at vastly different speeds, they saw speeds pick up again once the battery on an iPhone 6S was replaced.
But, as it turns out, it has a good reason for doing it, rather than the widely-held assumption that it's a cunning ploy to get you to buy a new iPhone. And because it's so gradual, progressively shorter battery life is ignored by most people, until it's time for a new iPhone.
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"Is my iPhone getting slower?"
"It's not right", he said, referring to Apple's throttling of the processor.
However, because Apple also markets itself as one of the best in terms of customer service, an additional support for battery fix should not be as drastic. "Why not just offer to replace the battery instead?" If not, it costs $118.
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