Users of older iPhone models may find their devices to be a disappointment. Although their device was very promising the first time they put it to use, the same cannot be said about these devices right now. Apart from having a slow device, some users even complain of their device’s battery not being as optimal as it once was.
And as it turns out, Apple is deliberately doing this to older iPhones. According to Mashable, the chips found in older iPhone models are prevented from churning out their full processing power according to certain conditions. As explained by the company, this only occurs on older iPhone models whose batteries have already degraded. Apple pointed out that this action is necessary to stop these devices from unexpectedly shutting down.
As a user of an older iPhone model, it can be very upsetting to find your phone not functioning as well as it used to. In some cases, you’d have to carry around your charger to ensure that you don’t run out of battery juice during a time you really need it the most. And if that’s not all, opening up apps can take quite a long time. With all of these frustrations, you’re given the choice to accept it or switch to a newer iPhone model or to another device ultimately.
Apple was left with no choice but to confirm this matter when developer John Poole’s benchmarks study was published. Initially, Poole was inspired to perform this study after this Reddit thread. In the study, Poole carefully considered how various iPhone models performed and how each of these differed greatly on which software it was running on. And as revealed, many of these devices had a worse benchmark compared to the ratings established when they were still brand new.
A vital reason for the bad benchmarks these older iPhone models produced can be attributed to the lithium-ion batteries included in them. Since these batteries tend to degrade every time they are charged and discharged, they are unable to be as optimal as they were from the start. Looking at it on a daily basis, the degradation is barely noticeable. In fact, it can easily be mislooked. But after a year of this, it starts to take its toll. Particularly on processor-heavy tasks, you’d find that your iPhone’s battery discharges quite rapidly.
So what makes Poole’s study so important? If you’re unfamiliar with his name, Poole is the founder of Primate Labs. They are responsible for creating the smartphone benchmark tests under Geekbench, which are considered as the de facto industry standard. This alone makes his study so credible and notable.
For this specific purpose, Poole particularly took a look at the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 7. Under his assessment, it was discovered that these two devices first encountered performance degeneration with the iOS 10.2.1 update released early this year. Ironically, the update was released to address the random shutdown issue that both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S encountered.
While this update did not affect the performance of the iPhone 7, the iOS 11.2 update released this month did. But as compared with the immense degeneration that happened on the iPhone 6S with iOS 10.2.1, this update did not seem to be as widespread. One good reason for this is that a number of iPhone 7 owners have not yet updated their devices. For some of those that have, however, it could be because they did not run benchmark tests with Geekbench.
As pointed out by Matthew Panzarino of TechCrunch, benchmarking tests are not reflective of real world performance. When running a benchmark test, the power management features of the phone will be artificially triggered. But when using your phone normally, you won’t trigger this effect.
On a statement sent to Mashable, Apple explained that their main goal is to “deliver the best experience for customers.” And in order to do that, the company has pushed out updates that promise to smoothen instantaneous peaks “only when needed.” As a result, the device is prevented from unexpected shut downs.
But even though Apple has explained this action, not too many people know about its battery replacement guidelines. Apple has designed its batteries to retain 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles. Once the battery becomes defective is no longer able to meet those parameters, customers may replace their batteries for free if the device is still under warranty or if they have AppleCare+. Otherwise, a $ 79 battery replacement is in effect along with a $ 6.95 shipping fee under their battery replacement service.
For its part, Apple does send out a notification once the device’s battery has degenerated enough to the point where performance gets affected already. But because most iPhone users do not have any way of knowing why their device is slowing down or the mere fact that they can replace their battery, they end up replacing the entire device instead. This becomes a much more expensive solution. Apple definitely needs to make the notification more noticeable to its users. On hindsight, this could be a clever strategy to entice more people to buy newer iPhone models. Hopefully not.
Source: Mashable, Mac Rumors