Recently, a whole lot of iPhone 6 and 7 owners noticed performance hits after updating the operating system. Apple along with lots of other phone makers has long been accused of slowing older phones down via iOS updates as a sly way to get you to upgrade to their newer, faster phone. But those rumors have remained, well, mostly unsubstantiated rumors and accusations. These findings were supported by a Geekbench analysis indicating that a recent Apple update—designed to prevent random shutdowns—quietly throttled the CPU in iPhone 6, 6s and 7 units, probably as a way to support aging batteries.
To see if we could confirm the findings, we rounded up some 2- to 3-year-old iPhones equipped with factory original batteries and iOS 11 for an informal test. We expected to see some difference, but the results frankly blew us away. And ran them again. And then ran them some more. But, the company told The Verge, the performance slowdown was designed to support aging devices. 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.
And one way or another, performance degrades along with it. Apple has historically claimed that the iPhone battery is designed for a cycle life their somewhat hidden battery page now claims , but has changed over the years. Every full charge and discharge is a cycle.
Most of us go a bit easier on our batteries, and in general, we recommend replacing your battery every 18 to 24 months. This is a reasonable change. Being mad at Apple for pushing a software update that goes gentler on old batteries is, frankly, a little dumb. Of course they should help make your phone last as long as possible. But there are some things that you should be mad at Apple for doing. Although you can still find out by plugging your phone into your Mac and using CoconutBattery.
And they oppose Right to Repair legislation that would guarantee consumers access to repair parts. Plan on changing your battery regularly, just like you change the oil in your car. You can do it yourself. Millions of people have used our guides. For your convenience, here are some instructions.