Apple Slows Down Some Older iPhones To Deal With Ageing Batteries!

Battery life is the biggest complaint and issue for Apple's iPhone users.


iPhone Battery

Other than its high prices, what do you think the biggest complaint about an iPhone is?

If you said “Battery”, you’re absolutely right! iPhones are not known for their battery life. But for Apple, lack of battery life is not a shortcoming, but a design decision! And this is when the phone and the battery are brand new.

As the phone grows old, the battery performance starts degrading. The impact is felt even more if you have an iPhone. The issue with iPhone Battery is so widespread that rivals have mocked Apple in their advertisements in the past.

It has recently emerged that Apple has sought to address this shortcoming in their own way. It is brash and audacious, and only Apple can think of something like this and actually do it.

Let us explain what we are talking about.

Downgrade Processor Performance To Conserve Battery!

iPhone Battery
iPhone Battery

Earlier this year, a bug in IOS 10 randomly started shutting down the iPhone 6, 6S and 6S Plus inspite of having about 30% battery still left. Apple tracked this issue to sudden spikes of activity which would put older batteries under stress causing them to deliver power in an uneven manner and even cause the phones to shut down.

On 18th December, Primate Labs, a company which has made an app that measures the speed of an iPhone’s processor, reported a direct correlation between degradation in performance and increasing age in iPhone 6S and iPhone 7 models.

Apple seems to be aware of the issue as they acknowledged it on 20th December saying that they take measures to reduce the demand on phone’s battery, by slowing down the processor so that it puts a less stress on the battery.

In their statement, Apple has said that the problem occurs due to the fact that lithium-ion batteries degrade over time losing their efficiency and charge-holding capacity. The problems with peak current draws can also occur when batteries are cold or low on charge. In an email to Reuters, Apple says,

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

Is There A Solution To The iPhone Battery Woes?

Till now apple had a stop-gap solution for their battery problem. Whenever the processor tried to make a big current draw from the battery and the battery delivers the current in spikes, the phone would shut down to protect the processor from getting fried.

To overcome the shutdown issue, now Apple reduces the processor’s performance to match the battery as it degrades over time. One way to make this problem go away is to replace the battery as soon as you see a dip in your iPhone’s performance.

But, this is a pricey solution to a basic problem which shouldn’t have existed in the first place. The only viable solution is to provide better, higher-capacity batteries. Unless battery technology makes a quantum leap, that seems like a distant dream for iPhone owners. Apple’s philosophy is form over function. They have sacrificed this basic functionality in their quest for slimmer phones.

What would you prefer? Slimmer smartphones with smaller batteries or slightly “thicker” smartphones with dense, high-capacity batteries? Let us know in the comments below.

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