Watch: Why Apple slows down older iPhones and what you can do about it

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple recently revealed that it throttles the performance of older iPhones with degraded batteries in order to prevent potential operational troubles like random shutdowns. Find out more about modern battery technology and how you can avoid unwanted performance hits in this video.





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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    The title alone is misleading. “Why Apple is slowing down iPhones with depleated batteries” is a better title. 
    scott523GeorgeBMacpscooter63StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 55
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,128member
    "I used to take my iPhone7 into the sauna at the gym, and it would sometimes overheat"...

    Even those working at AI are sometimes are a few cards short of a full deck.  Many gyms, mine included have very restrictive policies about carrying phones around in the locker room areas.  If I saw someone at my gym with a phone in the sauna, not only would I shake my head in amazement that they would even do that, but I'd tell that clown to take it outside to an established zone and/or report them to management.

    Saunas and electronics do not mix.  I must be getting old because this is crap that I would never do (I'm a software engineer) and must be more like a millennial thing with serious device-attachment issues.
    jbdragonpscooter63StrangeDayshypoluxajahbladeflashfan207watto_cobramagman1979jony0
  • Reply 3 of 55
    Stop defending deception and fraud.

    NO phone battery is should be degraded enough after only one year to slow down the phone.  Apple (Phil Shiller usually) touts performance at EVERY introduction...its 40% faster...80% quicker...etc...etc...etc.  They don't tell you "oh it's only for 1 year, then we slow the damn thing down because it can't perform longer than that".  If iOS and iPhones can't last longer than one year, there's something wrong with Apple's designs.  Actually, perhaps it's the "design" obsession that is the culprit.  Thin thin thin thin. Doesn't matter if it doesn't work, just make it thin.  Don't make the battery itself useful.  And let's slow it down after a year and call it "normal".

    I'd like a $1,000 phone to last at least 3-years.  If Apple's can't do that then I be replacing my iPhone 7+ with something else.
    edited January 6 nethan9rogifan_newaylk
  • Reply 4 of 55
    The title alone is misleading. “Why Apple is slowing down iPhones with depleated batteries” is a better title. 
    I agree, it’s a bit misleading. I thought AppleInsider managed to obtain an iPhone 6/6S with a bad battery and show the before/after effects of throttling on video.
    aylkStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 55
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,797member

    If Apple's can't do that then I be replacing my iPhone 7+ with something else.
    And straight after that, you be jammin’?

    S’okay folks, I’m black. I can do bad reggae jokes. 🇪🇹 🇯🇲 
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 55
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,797member
    The title alone is misleading. “Why Apple is slowing down iPhones with depleated batteries” is a better title. 
    Yes, not inaccurate, but misleading through omission I would say. 
    watto_cobrapscooter63StrangeDaysjony0
  • Reply 7 of 55
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,677member
    This is Bull Crap fanboy Kool Aid thinking.  Stop defending deception and fraud.

    NO phone battery is should be degraded enough after only one year to slow down the phone.  Apple (Phil Shiller usually) touts performance at EVERY introduction...its 40% faster...80% quicker...etc...etc...etc.  They don't tell you "oh it's only for 1 year, then we slow the damn thing down because it can't perform longer than that".  If iOS and iPhones can't last longer than one year, there's something wrong with Apple's designs.  Actually, perhaps it's the "design" obsession that is the culprit.  Thin thin thin thin. Doesn't matter if it doesn't work, just make it thin.  Don't make the battery itself useful.  And let's slow it down after a year and call it "normal".  Fanboys will defend us no matter what we tell them.  Bull Crap.

    I'd like a $1,000 phone to last at least 3-years.  If Apple's can't do that then I be replacing my iPhone 7+ with something else.
    1) They also list various battery life stats. Are you also saying that those values should also be the same after a year? Two years? Three years? What battery technology should they use if you think believe that battery life of a new device shouldn't be stated if the batteries degrade with use?

    2) The iPhone has has many generations where they've become thicker (and heavier). The Apple Watch, their latest device category, has become thicker each year.

    3) What device will you replace it with? An Android device that will simply shutdown your system and lose your data because it wasn't smart enough to deal with an aging battery?
    edited January 5 racerhomie3jbdragonwatto_cobrajahbladeflashfan207magman1979jony0
  • Reply 8 of 55
    vadimyuryevvadimyuryev Posts: 117member, editor
    sflocal said:
    "I used to take my iPhone7 into the sauna at the gym, and it would sometimes overheat"...

    Even those working at AI are sometimes are a few cards short of a full deck.  Many gyms, mine included have very restrictive policies about carrying phones around in the locker room areas.  If I saw someone at my gym with a phone in the sauna, not only would I shake my head in amazement that they would even do that, but I'd tell that clown to take it outside to an established zone and/or report them to management.

    Saunas and electronics do not mix.  I must be getting old because this is crap that I would never do (I'm a software engineer) and must be more like a millennial thing with serious device-attachment issues.
    I would go straight from a workout into the sauna, with earbuds still in my ears, listening to music. My thoughts were that with the water resistance it would be fine. I never thought about battery degradation though. Lesson learned. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 55
    sflocal said:
    "I used to take my iPhone7 into the sauna at the gym, and it would sometimes overheat"...

    Even those working at AI are sometimes are a few cards short of a full deck.  Many gyms, mine included have very restrictive policies about carrying phones around in the locker room areas.  If I saw someone at my gym with a phone in the sauna, not only would I shake my head in amazement that they would even do that, but I'd tell that clown to take it outside to an established zone and/or report them to management.

    Saunas and electronics do not mix.  I must be getting old because this is crap that I would never do (I'm a software engineer) and must be more like a millennial thing with serious device-attachment issues.
    I would go straight from a workout into the sauna, with earbuds still in my ears, listening to music. My thoughts were that with the water resistance it would be fine. I never thought about battery degradation though. Lesson learned. 
    Even with water resistance, water vapor can pass through speaker grills and damage internals.
    jbdragonwatto_cobrapscooter63StrangeDaysjahbladephilboogie
  • Reply 10 of 55
    I'd like a $1,000 phone to last at least 3-years.  If Apple's can't do that then I be replacing my iPhone 7+ with something else.
    The iPhone will last ~3 Years, but the battery will be depleted from 100%. Since replacing the battery is beyond your scope, what will you be getting? A Galaxy S ? ....or maybe a Pixel 2? Please let us know
    watto_cobraGeorgeBMacStrangeDaysracerhomie3jony0
  • Reply 11 of 55
    My three year old 6+ had the slowdown in a big way, some apps just stopped working (like Navigon), buttons would react only seconds after being touched etc, but I could still more or less use it as a phone. Also, the iOS updates took way longer than before, two to three times longer. After I had the battery replaced, all was back to normal.
    mcdavewatto_cobraracerhomie3randominternetpersonflashfan207jony0
  • Reply 12 of 55
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 170member
    1) They also list various battery life stats. Are you also saying that those values should also be the same after a year? Two years? Three years? What battery technology should they use if you think believe that battery life of a new device shouldn't be stated if the batteries degrade with use?

    The battery technology that lets all the other phone manufactures offer a 2 year / %5 battery replacement for free!
    duh


    aylk
  • Reply 13 of 55
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,035member
    I recently sold my iPod Touch 6 gen, I had it for two years and it's used everyday and I have it running all night every night so it's charged a lot. After two years of this I checked the battery before I sold it and it was in almost new condition. Just bought a one year old SE that was charged every day and it's battery is also at about 95%. Just got rid of a 3rd hand S4 whose battery was also in top condition. All these experiences lead me to conclude that if people are having problems with a battery that's one or two years old then there's something wrong with the battery. So Apple should have replaced batteries that are two years old that cannot perform, because they are obviously faulty. 
  • Reply 14 of 55
    NO phone battery is should be degraded enough after only one year to slow down the phone.
    A brand new battery in any cell phone from any manufacturer is susceptible to voltage problems when the charge is low (the benchmark if you look at charts for lithium ion is around 20%) or in cold conditions. Apple has specifically mentioned both of those situations when addressing the issue. So old age, number of charge cycles, or damage/defects to the battery aren't the only way you could experience a potential shutdown . It's just the way the battery technology itself works in terms of how voltage is supplied under specific conditions. 
    edited January 5 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 55
    sflocal said:
    "I used to take my iPhone7 into the sauna at the gym, and it would sometimes overheat"...

    Even those working at AI are sometimes are a few cards short of a full deck.  Many gyms, mine included have very restrictive policies about carrying phones around in the locker room areas.  If I saw someone at my gym with a phone in the sauna, not only would I shake my head in amazement that they would even do that, but I'd tell that clown to take it outside to an established zone and/or report them to management.

    Saunas and electronics do not mix.  I must be getting old because this is crap that I would never do (I'm a software engineer) and must be more like a millennial thing with serious device-attachment issues.
    I would go straight from a workout into the sauna, with earbuds still in my ears, listening to music. My thoughts were that with the water resistance it would be fine. I never thought about battery degradation though. Lesson learned. 

    Pretty sure that restrictions on phones in saunas and locker rooms are about limiting the gym's liability.  Concerning both ruined phones and privacy, i.e. camera phones in places where mostly naked people hang out.
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 55
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,354member
    sflocal said:
    "I used to take my iPhone7 into the sauna at the gym, and it would sometimes overheat"...

    Even those working at AI are sometimes are a few cards short of a full deck.  Many gyms, mine included have very restrictive policies about carrying phones around in the locker room areas.  If I saw someone at my gym with a phone in the sauna, not only would I shake my head in amazement that they would even do that, but I'd tell that clown to take it outside to an established zone and/or report them to management.

    Saunas and electronics do not mix.  I must be getting old because this is crap that I would never do (I'm a software engineer) and must be more like a millennial thing with serious device-attachment issues.
    I would go straight from a workout into the sauna, with earbuds still in my ears, listening to music. My thoughts were that with the water resistance it would be fine. I never thought about battery degradation though. Lesson learned. 
    I learned the hard way after contracting MRSA that saunas are bad for more than just iPhone batteries...
    The warm air in a closed system is a breeding ground for bacteria...
    ....  And the sauna does what exactly?
    ........ If you just want to sweat, there are healthier options.
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 55
    John Gruber did a recent podcast with Jason Snell on this subject. Definitely did not let Apple off the hook. Snell wondered just how much Apple thinks about an iPhone in year 3,4 of its lifespan. He also thinks top execs at Apple should have to use the latest software in development on a 3 year old device as their daily driver to determine if the experience is good enough to ship. It sounded like he has family members with older phones running the latest software and the experience isn’t great. Something else they brought up is users shouldn’t have to wipe their devices and reload from backup to improve the experience or get it back to what it was before the software update.

    I am curious about Apple’s product development process. When they were first desigining the 6 did they take in to account that it would get 3 years worth of software updates? Who decided the 6 should get iOS 11? How does Apple decide how big the battery is going to be in a device? Do they start out with a certain battery life they want to hit and then put in whatever battery size will meet that target? And what is the target based on? Or is the battery size determined by a specific device weight/thickness target? With iPad the battery life has consistently been about 9 hours or so. Does Apple ever think about trying to get more or have they decided 9 hours is good enough?

    Another problem Apple has is new versions of iOS for iPhone are tied new hardware releases so people on older devices are updating at the same time new devices are going on sale. That can easily leave the perception that Apple slowing down older phones to get people to upgrade. I know Apple wants as many users as possible to be on the latest software but maybe they need to re-think how long older devices keep getting software updates. Maybe iPhone 6 should have stopped at iOS 10 and only receive updates if there’s some critical security bug or something broke that needs to be fixed (like some iOS 6 only devices getting an update to fix an issue with FaceTime). And on the hardware side perhaps devices need to be futue proofed more. Maybe iPhone 6’s 1GB RAM was sufficient with iOS 8 but would that still be the case a year or two later after several software updates? The first iPad Air I had Safari was nearly unusable because the browser tabs were constantly reloading (how anyone at Apple found this acceptable is beyond me). With my iPad Pro and 4GB RAM I never run into this issue. One reason why I would never go back to an iPad that has less than 4GB RAM. Phil Schiller gave an interview before Christmas when he said (in reference to software bugs) that Apple had some soul searching to do. Good. Hopefully we really see that they’ve done that in 2018, especially on the software side.

    https://daringfireball.net/linked/2017/12/30/the-talk-show-210
    muthuk_vanalingamgatorguyAI_lias
  • Reply 18 of 55
    John Gruber did a recent podcast with Jason Snell on this subject. Definitely did not let Apple off the hook. Snell wondered just how much Apple thinks about an iPhone in year 3,4 of its lifespan. He also thinks top execs at Apple should have to use the latest software in development on a 3 year old device as their daily driver to determine if the experience is good enough to ship. It sounded like he has family members with older phones running the latest software and the experience isn’t great. Something else they brought up is users shouldn’t have to wipe their devices and reload from backup to improve the experience or get it back to what it was before the software update.

    I am curious about Apple’s product development process. When they were first desigining the 6 did they take in to account that it would get 3 years worth of software updates? Who decided the 6 should get iOS 11? How does Apple decide how big the battery is going to be in a device? Do they start out with a certain battery life they want to hit and then put in whatever battery size will meet that target? And what is the target based on? Or is the battery size determined by a specific device weight/thickness target? With iPad the battery life has consistently been about 9 hours or so. Does Apple ever think about trying to get more or have they decided 9 hours is good enough?

    Another problem Apple has is new versions of iOS for iPhone are tied new hardware releases so people on older devices are updating at the same time new devices are going on sale. That can easily leave the perception that Apple slowing down older phones to get people to upgrade. I know Apple wants as many users as possible to be on the latest software but maybe they need to re-think how long older devices keep getting software updates. Maybe iPhone 6 should have stopped at iOS 10 and only receive updates if there’s some critical security bug or something broke that needs to be fixed (like some iOS 6 only devices getting an update to fix an issue with FaceTime). And on the hardware side perhaps devices need to be futue proofed more. Maybe iPhone 6’s 1GB RAM was sufficient with iOS 8 but would that still be the case a year or two later after several software updates? The first iPad Air I had Safari was nearly unusable because the browser tabs were constantly reloading (how anyone at Apple found this acceptable is beyond me). With my iPad Pro and 4GB RAM I never run into this issue. One reason why I would never go back to an iPad that has less than 4GB RAM. Phil Schiller gave an interview before Christmas when he said (in reference to software bugs) that Apple had some soul searching to do. Good. Hopefully we really see that they’ve done that in 2018, especially on the software side.

    https://daringfireball.net/linked/2017/12/30/the-talk-show-210


    You have made lot of good points. Expect rebuttal from few of those posters who would defend Apple at any cost.

    AI_liasmakeintosh
  • Reply 19 of 55
    GG1GG1 Posts: 177member
    I recently sold my iPod Touch 6 gen, I had it for two years and it's used everyday and I have it running all night every night so it's charged a lot. After two years of this I checked the battery before I sold it and it was in almost new condition. Just bought a one year old SE that was charged every day and it's battery is also at about 95%. Just got rid of a 3rd hand S4 whose battery was also in top condition. All these experiences lead me to conclude that if people are having problems with a battery that's one or two years old then there's something wrong with the battery. So Apple should have replaced batteries that are two years old that cannot perform, because they are obviously faulty. 
    Interesting observation. I believe you are correct about faulty batteries.

    iPhones have been shipping with the same 5 Watt charger forever, and as iPhone batteries have slightly increased over time, this same charger is now actually charging at a slower rate (relative to the battery capacity, which has increased over time). So the newer phones (6 and later) should have at least the same battery life (and possibly better due to lower charge rate). Yet, there are more battery issues than before.

    You can reduce the charging time by using a higher wattage charger, but this may reduce overall battery life. Charging a Li-Ion battery is not straightforward (like lead-acid), and it is not forgiving if you overstep its charge/discharge limits. Look at Samsung's latest issue where it seems some phones over-discharge the battery, making the Samsung-supplied charger unable to recover it (a more intelligent charger can recover it). See http://dolgin.net/Charging%20Lithium-Ion%20Batteries.html for some good info.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 55
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 4,936member
    This is Bull Crap fanboy Kool Aid thinking.  Stop defending deception and fraud.

    NO phone battery is should be degraded enough after only one year to slow down the phone.  Apple (Phil Shiller usually) touts performance at EVERY introduction...its 40% faster...80% quicker...etc...etc...etc.  They don't tell you "oh it's only for 1 year, then we slow the damn thing down because it can't perform longer than that".  If iOS and iPhones can't last longer than one year, there's something wrong with Apple's designs.  Actually, perhaps it's the "design" obsession that is the culprit.  Thin thin thin thin. Doesn't matter if it doesn't work, just make it thin.  Don't make the battery itself useful.  And let's slow it down after a year and call it "normal".  Fanboys will defend us no matter what we tell them.  Bull Crap.

    I'd like a $1,000 phone to last at least 3-years.  If Apple's can't do that then I be replacing my iPhone 7+ with something else.
    Congrats on your mushy-thinking post. Apple didnt say theyre doing this NOW to one-year-old batteries, they said they put the 7 on the list that could. You'd have to be performing twice as many charge cycles to wear down your battery in only one year. 

    You can want your battery to last as long as you like. But if you use it excessively youre going to have to service the battery. No different than a car -- after 2-3 years your battery won't crank in extreme cold or heat. Big deal, that's chemistry.
    watto_cobramagman1979jony0
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