Apple slammed in iPhone battery brouhaha
It was for your own good!
“A software upgrade last year (iOS 10.2.1) does indeed detect a battery with degraded performance, and slow things down if power demand is too high.”
Old iPhones can get slow, and the suspicion was always that Apple was deliberately throttling them to push upgrades. The iPhone 6 seemed particularly prone to this. Tempers shortened, forums filled with complaints, and rumours passed back and forth. At least four class action lawsuits were filed. Third-party testing revealed that the slowdown was real: old iPhone’s are having their processors slowed down by the OS. Apple finally admitted what it was up to.
Apple issued a statement just before the New Year confirming that a software upgrade last year (iOS 10.2.1) does indeed detect a battery with degraded performance and slow things down if power demand is too high. It did have reasonable technical arguments for this — old batteries can’t reliably supply the peak power of a fresh one; if it drops too far below requirements, your phone simply shuts down, which you don’t want. That’s why iPhone 6 users would see their phone go black at 30–40% charge for no apparent reason. It wasn’t being mean, just practical.
In response, Apple has cut the cost of a new battery kit for out-of-warranty iPhones from $119 to $39 — a welcome move. This will have your phone running at tip-top speed again. Though you have to wonder why it charged so much in the first place... It also promises to add tools that enable you to get a better picture of your battery’s condition. So it’s not a diabolical conspiracy to get you to upgrade, just an inept company that won’t admit what it’s doing until threatened with lawsuits, and a lot of unhappy customers.
One reason this has surfaced is the slowing rate of upgrades — people are hanging on to iPhones for longer than they used to; witness the sluggish sales of the iPhone X. The iPhone 6 has the basic functions you need, and a headphone jack to boot. A surprising number of people are still rocking one, it seems.