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For years, we’ve reassured people that no, Apple doesn’t secretly slow down their older iPhones to make them buy new ones. If this must be done, it should be a setting. If it’s on by default, the user should be alerted the first time it happens.
Apple’s statement on iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE power management (the slowdown):
70 replies and sub-replies as of Dec 20 2017

The reputation damage from secretly slowing down old iPhones, regardless of the reason, will likely linger for a decade.
An the only way to check this currently is by running Geekbench.. ugh
No you can install CPU DasherX to see your CPU’s speed. And you can install Battery Life to check your battery’s health.
Does iOS give a reading of how many charge cycles an iOS device battery has been through? (Like the way my MacBook Pro does.)
Intent doesn’t matter. It feeds the narrative of “planned obsolescence”
I wouldn’t assume good intention when the act is done in secret. Consciousness of guilt.
100%. In so many ways, this looks bad, and is consumer hostile.
Intent does matter. An OS that doesn’t deliver the best possible user experience is a non-starter. Benchmarks are not UX.
PR-wise, intent does not matter.
I can only image the number of class action lawsuits that will come from this. People thought they needed to buy a $500 phone when maybe they only needed to replace a $100something battery.
Definitely. This is going to be hard to explain to family and really anyone who thinks there is any sort of planned obsolescence.
Framing question: Why are we denying planned obsolescence? Everything becomes obsolete, doesn't planning on that eventuality increase the efficiency and the value we can extract from a product?
I plan on replacing a phone every 1 to 2 years. My non tech family does not. They expect a $600+ device to last 4 to 5 years and anything less is a money grab.
Granted. But isn't the "devices should never down" argument a bit absolutist? It's fair to want devices that last longer - that's a problem that engineers can solve with better materials and by making tradeoffs.
Certainly. I don't disagree. Looking at it through the lens of the average consumer, they won't see it that way. And generally (and I do acknowledge this is a broad statement), those of us tech minded/interested folks are going to come off sounding like Apple apologists.
I'd be happy to be wrong about this.
Simple: if your battery is very old and you do something that uses too much processing power (like running CPU benchmarks), your phone will slow for a moment to protect its electronics and prevent a shutdown, making your phone last longer. It doesn’t slow your phone all the time.
I like that. I'm going to steal, exuse me, borrow that explanation for when I'm asked.
I expect it to be returned to me in a timely manner
And of course if all else fails...drive your iPhone over to Craig's house.
Samsung called. They say they’re still selling the Note. And the Note7 literally exploded and was banned from air flight. I think the reputation hit probably won’t matter that much for this.
What did you know and when did you know it?
What are you talking about? I heard about the Reddit thread a few days ago and read the Geekbench blog post yesterday like everyone else.
Marco Arment, secret iOS engineer, apparently.
I'm super curious about this -- My iPhone 6 has been extremely slow since the last few updates, but I paid the $79 battery replacement fee last January. Surely a phone with a 1-year old battery isn't falling into this group, right?
Apple definitely didn’t leak the story to Mark Gurman about cross-platform development unification in order to soften the blow of this news today. Nope.
i think the half-life is shorter. people seem to have largely given Samsung a pass, and their phones were literally exploding 18 months ago.
Even worse, has anyone been sitting around saying “but at least my phone lasts all day”? I feel like the older phones still die as quickly or quicker with this power saving.
Linger, yes, but only in the minds of trolls who like to find fault with Apple. The reality is, non-nerds don’t know or care. Samsung remains one of the most popular brands despite selling phones that caught fire *1 generation* ago. This is the most minor of issues.
Imagining Apple bloggers reactions if Samsung did this and got caught the way Apple did. 😂
As someone who had a phone that unexpectedly shut down with 30+% battery life, I can assure you that the alternative to this is much worse and that I’m fine with the compromise.
This isn’t just for old iPhones. It’s for all iPhones. The 8 and x will get this sooner than later. I think it’s to improve device longevity and performance not force users to buy new phones.
If I understood it correctly, that doesn’t explain why iPhone 7 drains battery so much faster after iOS 11?
And you were probably wondering if you would have anything to talk about two days after recording ATP.
I am absolutely livid. If you swap a battery is this eliminated?
Part of me is shocked (and another, sadder part of me isn't shocked) that they actually called this a "feature." 😥
100%, if user sees that their battery life is short, they would know that their battery is the issue. if iPhone slows down, they would think that getting new iPhone would be the solution- when its actually the battery
This isn’t about battery life being short, it’s about it unexpectedly shutting down.
I’m honestly waiting for the Canadian class action to drop. This behaviour is complete bs.
It’s not really to make them buy new ones, it’s to make the old ones last a bit longer. If batteries were more easily replaceable, then this wouldn’t be necessary.
was almost buying a new phone because my 6 was hardly usable. now switched batteries for a few € and it feels like an entirely new device.
when iPhones slow down, customers think that getting new iPhone is the solution, but when iPhones die faster, they directly know that replacing battery is the solution
Tim: Investors don’t come before customers. Conduct a recall. Recall the iPhone 6es with the ‘screen doesn’t recognize touches unless device is bent’ issue too.
Recall and what? Replace batteries, give people another two years before this triggers again?
Replace batteries. Yes, batteries wear but the battery no longer being able to provide the power the phone needs is not normal.
I've often wondered if there's something weird about iPhone battery decisions; they seem mildly more vulnerable to cold and stuff than other manufacturer's phones.
Volume, volume, volume. It’s easy when you are shipping a relative handful of phones.
A recall - I’m sorry, repair extension - seems pretty reasonable actually. Throttling the CPU seems like it should have just been a stop gap while they figured out how to address the battery issue.
A stop gap between the issue being discovered and the customer being able to get to an Apple Store.
To be fair, I’ve noticed that my iPhone 7 stopped shutting down when cold, which was something that it was doing all the time.
This will be seen by many as a new Apple tax - forcing users to upgrade early, pay for a replacement battery... or be stuck with a slow phone.
(Possibly sensitive)
The planned obsolescence conspiracy theorists are coming out of the woodwork as we speak.
Just yesterday I laughed at a cousin at our family party who insisted he was holding out on updating his phone’s OS to avoid the “forced slow down” by Apple. 😐
I had to replace my iPhone 6 battery after upgrading to iOS 11 and it became unusable.
And for many years it was true (at least for iOS < 10, possibly later)
If it’s using available peak current to throttle load then that could trigger even on brand new phones if they get too cold or battery is very low. A way of checking battery cycle age and suggesting replacement would be less confusing.
It would be nice if iPhones and other smartphones like it had user-replaceable batteries.
Yes, it should be a Battery Mode, like Low Power Mode. Deactivate at your own risk.
Battery health should absolutely be a setting in iOS. Even if it’s not completely accurate it should give users some idea if they need to replace or not.
My iPhone 6 did have a Battery May Need Service warning in the battery section of settings.
Does anybody know if Apple is going this in their MacBooks ? The same rational could be applied
Will never happen. They better force people into buying a new iPhone instead of letting people decide for themselves. Same way they do by disabling Flashlight on iPhone 6 when battery is below 10%. They have no shame.
Is there a class action yet?
It’s actually worse than Apple being tainted, because less savvy users begin blaming the creators of their favourite apps
My SE has 495 cycles and 89% health, its slowd down by 50% without me knowing !