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Apple allegedly throttling older iPhones with degraded batteries

Your iPhone could slow down due to an ageing battery. (Source: User TeckFire on Reddit)
Your iPhone could slow down due to an ageing battery. (Source: User TeckFire on Reddit)
A user on Reddit has posted potential evidence that Apple could be throttling older iPhones relative to the output battery voltage to prevent them from drawing too much power. Although this is not the first instance of throttling on iPhones, it surely has been a subject of much debate.
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A user on Reddit by name TeckFire, has found that his iPhone 6S has been very slow after updating to iOS 11. But his brother's iPhone 6S Plus seemed to do just fine. After deciding to probe a bit deeper, he ran Geekbench 4 on his 6S and found that the scores were low. He ran the test again after replacing the battery and found that the scores were back to normal again.

TeckFire says that his battery could have worn out by about 20% at the time of running the first Geekbench test. He apparently got scores of 1466 Single and 2512 Multi. After replacing the battery, the scores went up to 2526 Single and 4456 Multi. This leads one to an inference that Apple could be slowing down phones that have degraded batteries in order to retain charge and prevent them from shutting down. The situation does not change even when plugged into AC power.

Apple is no stranger to throttling controversies, though. When Apple launched iOS 10.2.1 earlier this year, it claimed to have fixed a lot of unexpected shutdowns plaguing many iPhone 6 and 6S users. Users had reported back then that their phones slowed down considerably after the update but the unexpected shutdowns were apparently gone. A trip over to the Apple Community forums reveals that the update intentionally slowed down the CPU in order to avoid voltage spikes from select 'questionable' batteries, thereby preventing shutdowns. Not just CPU speeds, Apple was also accused by 'you-know-who' Qualcomm for reducing the LTE download speeds in the latter's X12 600 Mbps modem used in Verizon's iPhone 7 to match that of Intel's 450 Mbps modem in AT&T's iPhones. When the story broke out, Apple allegedly gagged Qualcomm to prevent customers from knowing the extent to which the LTE speeds were throttled.

If you're concerned about your iPhone slowing down, consider replacing the battery to give it another chance and check CPU scores before relegating it to (planned) obsolescence. 

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1358 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 12 > Apple allegedly throttling older iPhones with degraded batteries
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2017-12-11 (Update: 2017-12-12)