It looks like Apple has finally owned up to slowing down older iPhones through iOS. This confirmation comes as a response to a discussion on Reddit, and a blog post by GeekBench, about a possible explanation for the behaviour.
Two reports appeared earlier this week claiming to have discovered the reason that iPhones feel like they slow down over time. It was speculated that Apple was using iOS to throttle processor power consumption in order to preserve battery life and performance. The throttling was also meant to deal with a battery issue that caused older iPhones to shut down without notice.
While Apple did not initially comment on the matter, the company did release a statement to TechCrunch.
“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. 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.
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.”
It turns out that Apple was only trying to resolve an issue that some users were experiencing, and in that respect it succeeded. Batteries degrade over time and issuing a software fix to prolong the use of a smartphone isn’t exactly something that people would rally against.
However, Apple could have handled the information a little better. Instead of putting rumours to rest, the company decided to maintain its habit of not commenting on things. Issuing a simple statement wouldn’t have taken much effort.
That said, it looks like anyone suffering from a throttled iPhone can try the battery replacement therapy and see if it helps.