If you have an older iPhone model with an aging battery you might have noticed it running a little slower these days. Recently, tech giant Apple apologized for secretly slowing down older iPhones with an update over a year ago , a move it said was necessary to avoid unexpected shutdowns related to battery fatigue. Many customers had interpreted the move as a way to for Apple to increase demand for newer iPhone models, their suspicions fueled by the fact that the company didn’t initially disclose the slowdowns or its reasons for them.
So, it looks like the iPhone 6, 6S, SE, and 7 have issues with maintaining high performance as they get older and their batteries aren’t able to provide consistent power. Apple had actually announced this issue a year ago to address this problem when version 10.2.1 of the phones operating system was released to mainly help fix the iPhone 6’s unexpected shutdowns due to the fact that it’s older battery couldn’t provide enough power. But it wasn’t totally transparent about how much this would affect the phone’s performance (which seems to be significant), and new research is now suggesting the older iPhone models with degraded batteries are getting slowed down much more significant than previously believed; meaning that Apple is slowing down your older and aging phone to compensate for a degraded battery.
For its part, Apple continues to insist that it’s never artificially slowed down its older phones — it’s just aggressively managing phone performance to maximize the lifespan of the phone’s battery. In Apple’s view, this feature’s only intent is to prevent unexpected shutdowns so that the iPhone can still be used which is stated in a new knowledge base article Apple published alongside their letter apologizing for not being more open about this feature. And so, this power management feature works by looking at a combination of the device temperature, battery state of charge, and the battery’s impedance. Only if these variables require it, the operating system will dynamically manage the maximum performance of some system components, in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns.
It looks like this feature will stay on all iPhones, but Apple says an upcoming iOS update will give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery. It did not say if it will give them the ability to turn the feature off or on.
That said, Apple has now created a special battery replacement program that begins later this month for anyone with an iPhone 6 or older that requires a new battery. If you find your older phone is slowing down and that your battery is not holding its charge you can now send or bring it in for a new battery for a lot less. Previously, out of warranty battery replacement was $99 Canadian, and with this new program the cost is now $35, which is a significant price reduction. If you go to www.apple.com/ca, you can find out more.