Apple has confirmed that it does deliberately slow down older models of the iPhone as they continue to age.
The company has claimed that this has been done in a bid to try and protect the phones against problems caused by aging batteries.
Apple Inc. is one of the most successful multinational technology companies in the world. It was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in April 1976. It was incorporated as Apple Computer, Inc. in January 1977. It currently designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. Among the company’s most successful products are the iPhone smartphone, the iPad tablet computer, the Mac personal computer, the iPod portable media player, the Apple Watch smartwatch, the Apple TV digital media player, and the HomePod smart speaker. Apple's consumer software includes the macOS and iOS operating systems, the iTunes media player, the Safari web browser, and the iLife and iWork creativity and productivity suites. Its online services include the iTunes Store, the iOS App Store and Mac App Store, Apple Music, and iCloud. The current CEO of Apple is Tim Cook.
The first generation iPhone was released on June 29, 2007, and there have been multiple new hardware iterations with new iOS releases since. As of January 2017, Apple's App Store contained more than 2.2 million applications available for the iPhone. There have been over 1.2 billion units of the iPhone have been sold over the years. The original iPhone was described as "revolutionary" and a "game-changer" for the mobile phone industry. Newer iterations have also garnered praise, and the iPhone's success has been credited with helping to make Apple one of the world's most valuable publicly traded companies.
For years rumors have circulated that Apple deliberately slows down its older iPhone models but the company has never commented on the issue. However, in December 2017, the company that the reason it slows down older models of the iPhone is that it wants to protect the phones against problems caused by aging batteries.
"Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, [when they] 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," the company said.
The company added that the feature was introduced in 2017 noting, “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. Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers."
The feature was recently highlighted by users on Reddit, who noticed that their processors were running slowly in iPhones with older batteries, but that when they replaced the batteries the speed of the phone returned to normal.
John Poole, the founder of Primate Labs, said in his analysis of the Geekbench data that “users expect either full performance or reduced performance with a notification that their phone is in low-power mode. This fix creates a third, unexpected state. While this state is created to mask a deficiency in battery power, users may believe that the slowdown is due to CPU performance, instead of battery performance, which is triggering an Apple-introduced CPU slowdown.”
Our assessment is that Apple views the slowdown as a feature and not a bug. However, its customers (millions across the world) may construe this as a strategy by Apple to force users to continue upgrading their iPhone models frequently.