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Apple admits to slowing older iPhones

'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,' said the tech giant

21 December 2017, 8:50am
(Photo: Fortune Magazine)
(Photo: Fortune Magazine)
Apple admitted to taking measures in order to slow down the performance of older iPhones.

Primate Labs, a company which makes an app to measure the speed of an iPhone’s processor published data this week, that appeared to show slower performance in the Apple iPhone 6s and 7 models as they aged.

Apple acknowledged on Wednesday, that they do reduce power demands on some phones, which can have the effect of slowing the processor, when a battery is having trouble supplying the peak current that the processor requires.

All lithium batteries, not just those found in Apple products, degrade and have problems supplying the big bursts as they age and accumulate charging cycles, said Apple in a statement. The problems with peak current draws can also occur when batteries are low on charge or cold.

“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,” Apple said in a statement.

“We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for products in the future,” it added.

When an iPhone’s processor makes a big draw from a flagging battery, the battery can deliver the current in spike, which could potentially damage the phone’s electronics. As a result, iPhones would suddenly shut down to protect the processor from being damaged by the power spikes.

The sudden shutdown problem was widespread amongst iPhones in late 2016, which forced Apple to issue a software fix that had the net result of slowing phones with an old, cold or low charged battery, said the company.

The problem could be fixed by replacing the battery of the phone, for which Apple charges $79, for those not covered under warranty.

Apple has long-faced criticism from repair advocates for making its batteries difficult for users to replace on their own.

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