Apple confirms it makes old iPhones run slower (for a good reason)

By

Apple is investigating battery issues for the iPhone 6s.
Does your iPhone 6s feel slower?
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

Does your iPhone seem to get slower and slower as it grows older? Well, according to Apple, that is exactly what’s supposed to happen.

Many iPhone users have long suspected that Apple throttles performance of aging iPhones. The popular theory is that Apple does so to entice users to upgrade. However, Apple says there are really good performance reasons behind the practice.

A Reddit post over a week ago reignited the issue after an iPhone 6s user found that replacing his battery sped up his device. Geekbench scores later appeared to confirm the theory of Apple throttling iPhones with older batteries.

Throttling iPhone CPU speeds

Apple opened up to TechCrunch today, confirming that the company does indeed lower CPU performance on some iPhones. In its statement, Apple says it does so to prolong the life of your iPhone, not to weaken it.

“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.”

Everyone knows that batteries get weaker as they age, so it shouldn’t be surprising that Apple is trying to smooth out performance so it remains optimal throughout the battery’s life.

Apple is trying to make your iPhone work longer with fewer problems, rather than trying to get you to upgrade.