Why Is Apple Slowing Down Older iPhones?

Tech giant Apple recently acknowledged that it has been throttling the performance of some older iPhones with cold or aging batteries. Introduced last year for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone SE, the feature is aimed at preventing unexpected device shutdowns, the company said.

With the release of iOS 11.2 earlier this month, Apple has now extended that protective slowdown feature to the iPhone 7 as well.

Some iPhone users have long suspected that Apple was intentionally slowing down older devices, while others have blamed the problem on glitches in new releases of the company's mobile operating system. In the wake of Apple's admission, some customers are criticizing the company for not being more transparent about how it handles device performance.

'Something Was Wrong'

Details about Apple's throttling strategy began emerging last week after a user on Reddit described problems with a slow iPhone 6s.

"My iPhone 6S has been very slow these past few weeks, and even after updating multiple times, it was still slow," the user named TeckFire wrote. "Couldn't figure out why, but just thought that iOS 11 was still awful to me. Then I used my brother's iPhone 6 Plus and his was . . . faster than mine? This is when I knew something was wrong."

After checking the device's performance with the processor benchmarking service Geekbench, TeckFire replaced the battery of his iPhone 6s and checked again to discover the performance of the processor had improved markedly.

In a subsequent statement about the issue, 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...

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