Apple is once again in the midst of a ridiculous hubbub about iPhones with older batteries running slower than their newer counterparts. Some people even go so far as to say Apple is trying to force you to upgrade by slowing down your older iPhone on purpose.
There is a very real reason phones with older batteries run slower than a new battery—the battery is old and isn’t able to offer the device all of the power it once did. This isn’t unique to Apple, this happens to all batteries.
Apple is working to smooth out the power peaks that cause problems for older batteries, which make older devices last longer, but they also work a little slower.
“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices,” Apple said in a statement provided to me today. “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,” said Apple. “We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future.”
Matthew Panzarino summed it up very nicely in his TechCrunch article :
As that battery ages, iOS will check its responsiveness and effectiveness actively. At a point when it becomes unable to give the processor all the power it needs to hit a peak of power, the requests will be spread out over a few cycles.
Apple is not trying to slow down your iPhone so you will buy a new one, they are trying to optimize the battery use in the device so you don’t have unexpected shutdowns and the iPhone will last longer. Pretty much the exact opposite of what people are accusing the company of doing.