Apple Admits to Slowing Down Old iPhones
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Apple has confirmed what many people have suspected for a while… that it slows down old iPhones on purpose. However, Apple insists this isn’t an attempt to force you to buy a new iPhone. Instead, it’s to help old iPhone batteries carry on working properly despite their advancing years.

Lately, people have been complaining that their old iPhones were slowing down. Which led to this Reddit post. Which led to this benchmark comparison by John Poole. This shows that Apple has indeed introduced something designed to artificially limit the performance of old iPhones.

The Smoking Gun for Planned Obsolescence?

There has been a common belief for years that Apple employs planned obsolescence, which means limiting the life of a product in order to sell newer versions. However, Apple has never admitted as much, and it’s difficult to find hard evidence. Is this the smoking gun we needed?

In a word, no. Yes, older iPhones will slow down over time, but no, this isn’t a ploy to make you go out and buy a new one. Instead, this was a fix to stop old iPhones unexpectedly shutting down when the demands being placed on the battery were too great. At least that’s Apple’s explanation.

In a statement provided to TechCrunch, Apple said:

“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components.”

“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.”

This does actually make sense. What would you prefer? An iPhone that plods along at a slower pace or an iPhone that crashes every time you try to play a game? Apple obviously does want you to upgrade every two years, but it’s unlikely that this feature was a way of encouraging that.

Additional Questions Apple Needs to Answer

I can’t be alone in thinking Apple needs to answer some additional questions here. 1. Shouldn’t you have informed users of this feature? 2. Shouldn’t this be optional for each individual user with an old iPhone? 3. Shouldn’t it be easier to change iPhone batteries? We doubt we’ll get answers, which means this will annoy owners of old iPhones. Even if it is for their own good.

How do you feel about Apple’s admission that it’s slowing down old iPhones? Do you think it’s a sensible move designed to help users? Or are you cynical about Apple’s motives? Do you own an old iPhone that has grown noticeably sluggish? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Gauthier Delecroix via Flickr

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  1. ger
    December 27, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    To the Andrea Peyser of NYP. CBS anchor Otis Livingston recently had racists views over Andrea Peyser life calling her crazy woman, unprofesional in business, lowlife and even jew!!!!! becareful of Otis Livingston he belongs in prison not on tv!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Anna
    December 27, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    That's why I'm against updating to the newer version. The best OS for the device is the OS the device was shipped in.

  3. atomic.bitch
    December 26, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    Sad if such events are true. A Battery if working provides energy to provide the use of said mobile device. Since the OS is embedded and also has its logs and other programs that run constant - the empty deletion of said log files grown to massive size can reduce and keep the phone working more properly - things like the obvious are not going to be told - keeping the gen public in the dark and the evil push to force someone unknowingly of such information is simply robbery. As to how things are now its all robbery and unfortunate. The costs of devices is so cheap now. They exploit children to keep their profits big and their clarity of device information seems as in other products - Grown to knowledge by public domain and kind people sharing ! this is whats keeping them really alive. Purchase a new battery - save your personal data - factory reset the phone and restore your contact lists - voila - bets your phone shall work almost like new.. Cost - cheaper than a new bloated price tag. Food for thought - a little due diligence can work wonders if you search.

  4. Alan Bradley
    December 24, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Is it the same with iPads then, as I have an iPad 2 that is slow as a snail.

  5. ndbltwy
    December 22, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I have an iphone 4 which works well except for its so so slow and no newer apps can be installed due to ios stopped updating years ago. Only thing apple makes me want to do is go android.

    • Bas
      December 22, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      Do not forget that if you switch to Android you may never get an update for your phone after the first year, and like Apple, older Android phones won't run newer apps either. So I don't understand why you would switch based on your comment.

      • Jack Wilmot
        December 30, 2017 at 12:24 am

        Um not true. I've had Androids for 8 years or so, and have received at least 2 OS updates on each. The problem is, older technology can't handle the growing amount of apps people add to their phones, nor can the phone memories handle them all. Consider stuffing 20 people into a car made to handle 6 people. Trust me, it will slow down from the weight and burn up more fuel.

    • Amber
      December 25, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      That is the exact same thing that made me switch from Android to iOS. The admission aside, I've actually had a better obsolescence experience with Apple than what I had with Google. If you switch, do so because Android phones are usually cheaper, not because you hope you'll have a better experience. You won't.

  6. upx
    December 22, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Love your questions !!
    1. Shouldn’t you have informed users of this feature?
    2. Shouldn’t this be optional for each individual user with an old iPhone?
    3. Shouldn’t it be easier to change iPhone batteries?
    It's clear to me that Apple is full of shit with their double speak.

  7. Gazoo
    December 22, 2017 at 2:33 am

    Everytime you write an article, you sound like a shill of whatever company x spits out. Your Logical Fallacy is: appeal to authority

  8. Anonimoose
    December 22, 2017 at 1:11 am

    Can like Apple just die and not exist altogether?

    • Jack Wilmot
      December 30, 2017 at 12:27 am

      Not as long as the company pays n Federal taxes, and fools keep buying $1,000 "updated" phones every year.

  9. Amber
    December 21, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    If it were truly for the sake of the user, they would have done what is described in those three questions. Since that's not the case, it's clearly a malicious decision. They can try and wrap it with candy all they want, it still smells rotten.

  10. dragonmouth
    December 21, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Naaah! Fruitco would not do THAT! Would they? They are an honorable company.