It’s trending like crazy right now. Apple has confirmed older iPhones with lower-capacity lithium-ion batteries are intentionally slowed down to avoid random shutdowns. The processor speeds, apparently, are throttled by newer iOS versions including 10.2.1 and 11.2.0. The throttling (a term that’s arguably not correct here) is used for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s models, but also the iPhone 7 running iOS 11.2.0.
Apple denies any wrong doing (accused of initiating the slow downs to urge urge customers to buy new phones), saying the software slows down devices with older batteries to prolong the life of the device. The company says the “feature” was rolled out last year 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,” Apple told media publications like The Verge and Techcrunch.
What this essentially means is newer iPhones’ processors and batteries can handle the demands of the new iOS and applications that run on it. But older phones, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, including the iPhone 7, can potentially shut down if the peak processor draw is too high. What Apple is doing, they say, is protecting the older phones from shutting down (a method of avoiding damage to internal components).
The iPhone 7 was also throttled with the latest iOS 11.2.0 release. And, iPhone says they plan to continue this performance solution in the future.
But slowing down a phone that’s only a year old…isn’t that too early? How about writing operating systems that can be smart enough to recognize an older battery capacity and adjust performance to that end? Maybe that’s too much to ask. Batteries eventually do get old, and, depending on other factors like temperature and battery condition phones just won’t always work like the day you bought it.
Reddit users and iPhone aficionados have said you can avoid the throttling by replacing the batteries on older iPhones with new ones. If this is true, it would be much more practical to replace a battery than purchase a brand new iPhone.