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Does Apple Throttle Older iPhones?


iPhone not working how it used to? You're not alone!

This is a question we get from many customers that come through our store. Some have heard rumors or seen articles that seem to suggest Apple is intentionally slowing down older phones. Is it true? The short answer is yes, but it may not be for the reasons you think.


Apple faced substantial controversy in late 2017 after various sources reported lower-than-expected CPU performance after benchmark testing older iPhones following the release of iOS 10.2.1 and 11.2.0. Some of these individuals, most notably Geekbench developer John Poole, confirmed these suspicions following a viral Reddit post that instigated the initial controversy.


To the surprise and anger of many customers, Apple confirmed the reports in a statement released on December 28, 2017 where they discussed their reasoning for throttling performance. As lithium-ion batteries age over time, they chemically degrade and reduce in total capacity. Once total capacity is less than 90% of the original specifications, this can cause the device to randomly shut down during peak usage. To prevent this from happening, Apple introduced a software update to dynamically throttle the CPU during intensive processes.


While this is a reasonable solution, the main issue was that Apple did not notify customers that their device was being throttled. Furthermore, there was no way to disable this update or notification to suggest their battery needs replacement. After issuing an apology, Apple reduced the price on their battery replacement and also introduced the battery health tab in iOS 11.3. With the battery health tab, users are able to see their battery's maximum capacity and peak performance capability. Armed with this information, customers can then decide if they want to disable power management or replace their old battery to return to optimal performance.


If your battery is already on its last leg, let us replace it for you! Battery replacements start at $29.99 and can usually be done in less than ten minutes. Stop by our store at 1332 Main St. Suite 112 Columbia, SC 29201 to get it fixed.

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